XENIA — In addition to being a recent graduate of Wright State University with an undergraduate degree in social work, Amanda Crabtree can add another achievement to her list of personal accomplishments.
Crabtree was named the Greene County Visitation Center “Volunteer of the Year” a few weeks ago. At a recent Greene County Commissioners meeting, she was honored with a resolution signed by the commissioners.
“I was very excited,” Crabtree said. “I had only heard a little murmur of the idea that workers at the center may choose a volunteer of the year but heard nothing else about it. So when I found out via a meeting, I was shocked and surprised. I am so thankful as well to my amazing co-workers who thought of me. I felt truly appreciated.”
Crabtree started volunteering with the center in August 2020.
“I started my social work studies unknowing of what exactly I wanted to pursue population and job wise as I had many interests. After obtaining a job at the new Behavioral Unit at Dayton Children’s, I found a passion of working with children,” Crabtree said. “During visitation times on the unit, I was able to see a small snippet of the family dynamic together and wanted to explore that further. The visitation center allowed for me to see that dynamic in a more direct role.”
In order to meet the requirements of her senior field placement, the Springfield native completed 363 hours at the visitation center.
“I’ve technically only had the positions of ‘monitor’ as an intern and now volunteer, meaning that I monitor the visitations between the visiting party and the children in the center and document aspects of the visit,” Crabtree said. “Additionally, I complete intake orientations and assist with office roles, like making calls.”
According to the resolution, as a “Family Monitor,” Crabtree played an important role in the lives of children and non-custodial parents at the visitation center. She worked to maintain a safe and positive environment for all involved parties. She worked with parents to acclimate them to the visitation program and to provide structure during their parenting time.
Although Crabtree’s internship was completed in April, her volunteer work with the center continues. For as long as she is able to with her future studies, Crabtree decided to remain as a volunteer. For at least the next year, she hopes to continue on as is.
“I officially began graduate school to obtain my masters in social work online at Boise State,” Crabtree said. “Next, I’ll have an an internship with them and continue my role as a mental health tech at Dayton Children’s Hospital’s Behavioral Unit.”
Crabtree said that she is still interested in many fields for social work. However, her interests include immigration, family, advocacy and policy work, geriatric social work, and teaching. She hopes to find a position in one of those fields and become a professional so that she can help future social workers, even if it means leaving the area.
“Ohio will always be home to me, especially around the Springfield area. I’ve always dreamed of living and working in Cincinnati, but I’ve always fallen in love with Chicago during travels and they have a neat initiative of social work and a Smart Decarceration program,” Crabtree said. “I always see myself in Ohio. I’ll definitely be here at some point in life.”
Working with the Greene County Visitation Center has provided Crabtree with various stories and people that have made an impact on her.
“A memory that sticks out specifically is a family that I haven’t seen for a few months, but the children invited me to play a game with them and would always show me their art they created at the center,” Crabtree said. “It was a special feeling to me that they wanted to show me that stuff. Like I made a good impression, created a safe space for them at the center.”
Reach Darryl McGee at 937-502-4534