School of Social Welfare Alumna On Mission to Help Children & Families

My time at University at Albany was very pivotal to me being able to find this job. My name is Liliana Hernandez and I’m a child welfare program specialist within
the children’s bureau. The Children’s Bureau is a federal
government office that oversees funding and services for child welfare. From prevention to
foster care to adoption we’re really working on implementing what our leadership wants us to do. We’re
here now in the Obama administration and because of that and the priorities that he set, they’re different and and they’ll be
different with each administration and so that’s a really unique exciting
opportunity. Being in DC is really fun You’re one of so many different federal
employees. I am also chief union steward for our National Treasury Employees Union. And so that’s been a great rewarding experience and so you go out and there’s a lot of
different you know fun opportunities and career wise and networking opportunities
here in DC where you get to really be with other
federal employees and being here at the national level we do get
to set the tone, we get to provide discretionary grant money to nonprofit
organizations or states. I really believe in the mission of what
the children’s bureau stands for. That’s really exciting to be able to
say you know you’ve touched these people and so now when when something happens in Iowa or Indiana
it doesn’t seem so far off because now I know someone there in that state.
One of the main reasons why I applied to the University at Albany was
because I was able to do a joint degree program so I did both a master’s in
social work and a master’s in public policy.
With a social work degree you’re really able to go to so many different directions You’re able to work in a
courtroom you’re able to work in a hospital and school It really is a degree that lets you go to a
lot of different fields You have to do two years of an internship
and I was placed in a homeless shelter and so that was a really great one-on-one
experience in working with families and you really get to to really practice those skills and learn
about engagement and client rapport and building that therapeutic
relationship. Those are really beneficial skills you’ll be able to take
that and use those skills anywhere. One of the great
things about the University at Albany, you really learn so much from your other
peers. We had people who were young people that were older a
diverse set of backgrounds. I think most students who have a passion
for social work and have a passion for public
administration or policy will do really well.

Daniel Yohans

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