WH Child Development Center

WH Child Development Center

Staff & Parent Blog

BSW Intern from SCSU


        My name is Andrea Pender, and I am currently a senior in the social work program at Southern Conneticut State University. Picking my internship was a very tricky process. I originally suggested to be placed at an internship through DCF like several of my other classmates. DCF was only going to accept a small portion of interns from Southern, and I didn’t want to risk not getting accepted and not having a plan to fall back on. That is when my field placement advisor suggested that I come to the West Haven Child Development Center.

        My experience here thus far has been nothing short of amazing, I’ve grown an attachment to the children that attend the program, and I love to see the growth that they are continuing to make. I’m currently working along side Kaitlyn Croteau (MSW intern) on an informational session for parents that have questions, and concerns regarding the kindergarten registration process. I am also beginning to run intakes for the program, attend PPT meetings, and child study meetings throughout the school year. Along the way I have learned countless valuable lessons, and I have been blessed to be in the presence of such fascinating people who are definitely passionate about what they do. It has been an incredible experience developing, and I am eager to find out what else the center has in store for me.


MSW Intern from Southern CT State University


          I came upon this internship at the West Haven Child Development Center by the Social Work Field Office at Southern Connecticut State University. My paper work for the social work masters program had gotten lost and in turn was processed late by the university, and they were forced to come up with an internship for me quickly. Normally you give the field office your resume and field application first, but because I was behind I had to describe to the field director the internship I had in mind for myself. He told me right away that he had something in mind for me. I was sent to the West Haven Child Development Center for an interview with social worker Patrick Adams. Some social work interns go on multiple interviews before discovering a good fit for their first year internship. This being my first interview I had anticipated not settling in right away. However, after touring the school and meeting with Patrick I felt the center was a good fit for me and concluded my search.

            What I like most about my internship is the variety. I get exposed to many different aspects of the center, as well as many different aspects of social work. I have been assisting in do intakes for new clients at the center. I observed for a few months, but I have just recently completed my first intake by myself. I sit in on School Readiness meetings, Planning and Placement Team Meetings (PPT), and staff meetings. I have been exposed to some grant writing. At Thanksgiving and Christmas I helped organize food and clothing donations that were donated to the school by a non-profit organization.

            In January I launched a music and movement program. I received my undergraduate degree in dance performance. I continue to dance and teach dance to young children. As part of my internship I developed a twelve-week music and movement curriculum for the center that started on January 10th. The first week the children learned a “feather dance,” and this week they have transformed into buzzing bees and birds! I will also be assisting Clifford Beers clinician, Emily Nicotra, with her Playmakers play therapy group over the next eight weeks.

            My experience at the Center has been very beneficial in fostering my learning in the social work field. Whenever I discuss with my peers at school what I am learning at my internship they envy the variety that I have been exposed to. I look forward to this semester of my internship, and all of the new learning opportunities that will come with it!

-Kaitlyn Crouteau

Gratitude from a Student Intern


August 27, 2011
Dear Dr. Patrice Farquharson,
Thank you so much for letting me complete both of my internships at the West Haven Child Development Center this summer.  I really appreciated the opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated staff like yours. I learned many valuable lessons about being an administrator and hope to someday be as successful as you.  Your program is just outstanding.  As a full-time Kindergarten teacher, I understand the effort and dedication that it takes to prepare a child for Kindergarten.  Your center goes above and beyond ensuring that your students are ready for Kindergarten. 
I appreciated the opportunity to be involved in all aspects of the center.  I am grateful for all the time that you spent with me.  It was so beneficial to be able to meet with you daily, review my learning goals, and accomplish them together.  From the first day of my internship to my last, I felt more welcome than I have in any other professional experience. 
I will never forget the wonderful experiences that I had at your center.  One of the most beneficial learning experiences that I had was grant writing.  I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to learn how to write a grant and work closely with you and your colleagues that have successfully written grants.  I am so excited that your center received money for the grant that I wrote for First Niagara Bank. Thank you for everything.  You were a wonderful supervisor and are an outstanding director. 
 Heidi A. Natalino
 Master’s in HS, Management Student (Post)

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