Thursday, August 14, 2014

Karen works with the Department of Child Services!

My most recent rotation was at the Department of Children Services. The department is responsible for protecting children from abuse and neglect, and provides child support enforcement and adoption and foster care services for the state of Indiana. For the first week, I shadowed the Director of Human Resources here at DCS. Having just taken the position a few weeks before, she was still gathering information about the state of the department and trying to determine how things worked and she brought me in on several meetings.

She gave me access to the DCS intranet – a place where DCS employees can go to get information, forms, and links for the policies and best practices handed down by the agency. My first assignment was cataloguing and organizing the information from the site and sending this information to the HR Director. She wanted to know exactly what was already included on the site so she could get a better idea of what needed to be added. I went through each page on the site – though I focused primarily on the human resources section – and made note of everything I saw there.

My next assignment involved EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) and SEAC (State Employee Appeals Commission) complaints filed in the agency. This information had been previously compiled in a word document, but it wasn’t easy to read and it was often hard to tell what information was missing. I created an Excel database that catalogued the complaints by employee name, date, type of complaint, and the status of the complaint.

At DCS, I learned first-hand about how the momentum of a large organization can sometimes make it challenging to keep track of many moving parts. This is an issue that everyone will have to contend with in their professional career, it was great to get first-hand experience with tactfully suggesting changes while being respectful of the realities of the organization. I appreciate learning these lessons early in my career.

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