Division of Specialized Care for Children regional manager honored for dedication to supporting interns

Amy Jones
Amy Jones

Sruthi Thinakkal says her internship with the University of Illinois Chicago’s Division of Specialized Care for Children shaped her as a social worker and taught her the meaning of true teamwork.

Amy Jones, regional manager of DSCC’s Olney and Marion regional offices, was an enthusiastic and motivating mentor throughout Thinakkal’s experience.

Jones has now received the Outstanding Master of Social Work Field Instructor Award for the summer 2021 semester. The honor is from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana’s School of Social Work.

“Receiving this award was such a nice surprise. I’m truly honored but never expected it,” Jones said.

The School of Social Work gives the award during each internship rotation to a field instructor who has provided exceptional teaching/mentoring for their MSW intern.

“Based on Sruthi’s nomination letter, it is apparent that (Amy is) dedicated to providing an excellent learning experience for the students, and the School of Social Work is very appreciative,” MSW Field Director Lindsey Trout said in an email announcing the award.

Thinakkal nominated Jones for the award after spending two semesters with DSCC’s Marion and Olney offices in 2021. She now works in Chicago with the Rush Craniofacial Center team and credits her internship with preparing her for a job she loves.

“I gained so many skills that have directly impacted my career,” Thinakkal said. “DSCC taught me so much about working in tune with families, the grief process, the importance of teamwork and listening, and how a monthly call can make such a difference in helping families feel supported and connected.”

Jones said interns aren’t the only ones who benefit.

“It’s a mix of seasoned and new that brings fresh ideas and different perspectives to the workplace,” Jones said. “It’s exciting to watch their growth and know that they’re building a ‘toolbox’ of skills that will serve them well as they move on in their careers. It’s equally rewarding learning from them along the way.”

The Olney and Marion regional offices have welcomed two new interns to their team.

“I’m looking forward to learning as much from them as they will from us,” Jones said. “I enjoy being able to talk about the world of social services and sharing about DSCC but It’s really a team effort. All of us work to partner with our families, to help them know about and connect with the services they need.”

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