NOC student Samantha Conley interns at Dearing House

Ponca City Now - January 28, 2020 3:42 pm

Samantha Conley, a Behavioral Science major at Northern Oklahoma College from Ponca City, recently interned at Dearing House Child Advocacy Center.

This nationally accredited Ponca City nonprofit program provides specialized services for abused children and their families in Kay and Noble Counties.

During Conley’s internship, she helped teach an eight-week parenting class called “Break the Cycle,” which is based on a national study of Adverse Childhood Experiences and designed to help parents recognize how trauma affects parenting and decision-making.

Although she enjoyed this part of the internship the most, Conley also admitted that one of the most challenging aspects is that in order to complete the course, the parents must be willing to take responsibility for their actions that placed their child in harm’s way.

“Working for Dearing House taught me that families face many different problems and each problem has a different kind of solution,” Conley said.

“I learned that in dealing with each unique situation, communication skills are essential,” she said.  “Through discussions about childhood trauma, it is important to ask open-ended questions that help the parents engage in the conversation. Another key component of building a connection in the parenting class is “to use praise to build their self-confidence and help them achieve bigger and better accomplishments in their own life.”

Dearing House Executive Director Maggi Hutchason said she is grateful for the intern program.

“I am very grateful for the internship program at NOC and the quality of the students available,” Hutchason said.  “I think it’s a win-win situation because our small nonprofit is able to expand our services to help children and families, and the student gets practical experience and develops expertise that will help them when seeking employment or furthering their education.  Samantha stepped up and did a great job of creating a positive experience for parents in the class.”

Dearing House Inc is a private nonprofit, accredited by the National Children’s Alliance for 16 years,

“We have a team of agencies, primarily law enforcement, child welfare and prosecutors, that work together to further our mission of hearing, helping, healing children.  We also partner with other nonprofits, like domestic violence, Marland’s children’s home, etc., as needed, to focus on the needs of children.”

More information about the Dearing House may be found at .

For more information about the NOC internship program, contact Kathleen Swain at (580) 362-6258 or [email protected] .


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