This month we bid a sad farewell to our social work intern, Alex Pero. Alex, a graduate student at UPenn’s School of Social Policy and Practice, spent two semesters at Inter-Faith. She counseled residents one-on-one and facilitated a stress management group for the moms at Hope Gardens. Ginnie Davidov, a past Inter-Faith board member and licensed clinical social worker, supervised Alex’s work.
Getting to know the families in one-on-ones and group sessions was the most rewarding part of her internship at Inter-Faith. “I am really sad to leave the families whom I’ve forged a relationship with,” said Alex. “I’d say it’s the toughest part of being a social worker.”
Alex brought a focus on trauma-informed care—a shift in paradigm from asking, “What is wrong with this person?” to “What has happened to this person?” Her contributions to our programs will be felt by families here for years to come. She worked with case manager Caroline Theis to incorporate trauma-informed language into Inter-Faith policies and programs. Alex also collaborated with Sue Zomberg, our community resource manager, to develop and lead training sessions on trauma-informed care for volunteers and undergraduate students.
The most surprising thing about Alex’s time at Inter-Faith? Seeing “just how much Inter-Faith does—multiple housing programs, food cupboard, creating a huge impact—with such little staff! Everyone is multifaceted in their duties and very collaborative.”
“I want to thank Inter-Faith Housing Alliance for giving me the opportunity to work with them,” Alex said. She’s especially grateful to Ginnie Davidov, who provided tremendous guidance and support. “The staff, volunteers and community members involved with Inter-Faith are wonderful people who are constantly striving to improve the experiences and lives of others. I feel grateful having been able to bring a behavioral health service to the families in their programs.”
We will miss you, Alex, and we wish you the best of luck with your social work career!