Sarah Reed Children's Center
Creating career foundations for regional mental health professionals
Sarah Reed Children's Center has been supporting internships for students in the Erie area for over 40 years, many of whom have become leaders both within Sarah Reed and at other organizations throughout the community. Since spring of 2021, over 25 students at the bachelors and masters degree levels have completed internships, not counting doctoral and post-doctoral interns. Providing a strong, clinically-focused foundation for students to increase their knowledge and skills has been a goal over the years. Another positive benefit of the internship program has been creating pathways for interns, leading to jobs and career opportunities throughout the organization. This is evidenced by the fact that the CEO, directors, supervisors, and numerous staff throughout the organization got their start as an intern many years ago and remain with Sarah Reed today.
"My recreational therapy internship at Sarah Reed allowed me to have a different outlook on life. I always knew I wanted to work with children, but never considered this specific population before," states Shelby Scott, former Slippery Rock student. "During my internship, I was challenged to think outside the box and create programs and interventions that fit the needs of the children here." Shelby was hired following an internship, and is currently a recreation specialist in the Residential Program.
Founded in 1871, Sarah Reed Children's Center serves over 900 children in all counties of Pennsylvania as well as the southern tier of New York. Operating out of seven facilities, Sarah Reed provides outpatient therapy, acute and regular partial hospitalization services, residential treatment, school-based and alternative education programs, as well as community-based services to several area school districts.
A recent collaboration with Gannon University and Community Care Behavioral Health resulted in paid internships for three social work students for two semesters beginning fall 2022. Amara Devericks, Caelan "CJ" Scholl, and Grace Clark are working as clinical care staff while fulfilling Gannon's internship requirements, and are involved in everything from self-care and wellness routines, to group activities that promote positive peer interactions. Clark noted that Sarah Reed offers a unique internship environment, providing the opportunity to practice trauma-informed care in every part of a child's day. "The opportunities for growth as a student and a professional are endless," Clark commented. Devericks added, "I have learned to love each child, finding ways to help them love who they are too." Devericks continues, "One of the amazing things about working at Sarah Reed is the inclusivity of children in the LGBTQ+ community."
The positive impact that Sarah Reed has on children and adolescents would not be possible without the many dedicated professionals, staff members, and interns committed to this cause. Internships at the Children's Center play a major role in supporting critical services to the community. Interns bring a different perspective, new ideas, and energy to the treatment environment.
For information on internships and paid internship-work opportunities, please contact the Human Resources Dept. at 814-835-7642