As the title of this post indicates, this is my first week with T/MC, and as such, I will begin my blog posts with an introduction to who I am as well as the networks that I am currently involved with. For starters, I am an intern from the Adler School of Professional Psychology where I am a first year student in the Marriage and Family Therapy program. This program emphasizes a systematic way of thinking, and to identify problems not just individually, but to be able to look at them on a larger scale, as there are typically many different individuals that are involved with any problem. After doing some research into the OHATS program, I find that the thinking behind it is much the same as a systemic way of problem solving, in the sense that instead of focusing on the problem using many, individual groups, OHATS is attempting to create a mesosystem that encompasses these groups and unify them to solve a common societal issue. I had never realized that my coursework would so closely mirror the ideology of T/MC.
With that revelation being stated, I will continue on with my introduction.
I completed my undergraduate work in Psychology and Biology at the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign in 2004. I became a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity while attending the university, and still associate with that organization to this day. While attending the university, I worked for the America Reads/America Counts program, tutoring children with learning disabilities in a local elementary school, which ultimately inspired my interest in working with T/MC Cabrini Connections. I currently live in the Rockford, IL area, where I have been involved through my previous employment via DCFS with the school systems there. I was a case manager for specialized foster children, and worked closely with a foster parent alliance group that met weekly to discussthe needs of the foster children in the area. At that time I had wondered if other foster care programs in the area had similar foster parent groups, and if so, what were they discussing? Yet another instance where a more systemic way of addressing the problems they faced could have been useful, as I'm sure they were not unique to this particular group of foster parents. Many of these problems did focus around the education of the foster children, as they were typically falling through the cracks with few people to advocate for them, and few resources to utilize.
These past experiences have gotten me excited to work for a program such as this one, and hopefully I will be able to contribute and to spread the word to others about this program.
Below is my network map of resources, but it is the first one I have ever made, so I am sure that are details that I have overlooked and links that I have missed.