Getting Job Experience without the Job First!
The social service agency network in our area provides the necessary assistance to clients in one form or another. Agencies are also the training ground for the social service providers of the future. This Community is blessed with outstanding local colleges where internship programs provide local students the hands-on training they need to get “Job Experience” before the job and are able to relate theory to practice. This Community Partnership gives agencies the opportunity to hire well qualified entry level employees who are grounded in the basic philosophies of working with ever growing and diverse populations.
IVY Tech State College’s Human Services Department requires that students complete an internship at a social service organization to satisfy their graduation requirements. I’m very pleased to report Wayne Township’s continued and successful practice of offering such internships. The students, as well as the Township, have benefited greatly through their hands-on education and experience. Due to the fact that the internships are unpaid, there are no additional costs to taxpayers. Best of all, interns make great employees. They are well-trained and have undergone the orientation process, which means they can jump right in and start working efficiently.
Many interns along with people from states that do not have township government have questions about townships and trustees. Township assistance can be confusing to anyone that is not informed. The very nature of community needs evolve from differing local challenges. This dictates that the duties of a township trustee are diverse and numerous. There are over 1000 townships in Indiana! Here are the answers to a couple of typical and related questions:
Q)What is the role of a township trustee?
A)The primary role of the Trustee varies depending on the township.
At the Wayne Township Trustee Office, my primary role is to provide emergency relief to those citizens unable to meet their basic environmental needs. Because of the size and location of Wayne Township, we have a large number of applicants. However, there are other townships in Indiana that have different primary duties such as managing fire stations, assessing, and even to operate the local park system.
Q)What are other roles of a Trustee?
A)Although legislation dictates what a Trustee must do and there are certain restrictions of what a trustee may not do, there is a considerable amount of flexibility on how a Trustee can help meet the needs of the community. For example, some Trustees in the state provide basic poor relief. Others have created programs designed to address specific problems of their clients such as operating homeless shelters. And still other Trustees, such as myself, have sought private funding for other programs and projects so they can provide additional services to the community in general.
Q)How long can a client receive assistance and is there a limit to the amount of assistance received?
A)Townships are required to provide emergency relief; however, before future or ongoing assistance is considered, trustees are required to make sure that clients have applied for all the state and federal programs for which they may qualify. Trustees also require that a client seek and accept gainful employment. Clients who fail to comply are not eligible for future assistance.
Q)How does township assistance differ from welfare?
A)Township government can be viewed as emergency help. Welfare is designed to address an ongoing need. Welfare is administered by the state and its officials are appointed. Township officials are elected every four years. Also, township benefits are never paid directly to the clients but are remitted to vendors for services rendered.
Having been a board member of most local social service agencies, I can reflect their appreciation of the local educators and their ability to provide us with the staff to help us help our own. If you are an area student that would like to have an internship that would help in your career success and have not been provided one please contact your university, a local social service agency or the Wayne Township Office and we will try to work together to provide the opportunity. Educators, we are always looking for new opportunities for partnerships. If you have a question or comment for the Wayne Township Trustee, please call 449-7000 or write to us at the address below. You can also visit us on the web at www.waynetownship.org
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