Samantha Files grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of southern West Virginia. Samantha attended West Virginia University from 2011-2015 and celebrated her graduation from West Virginia University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology as a first-generation college graduate. While working for the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia in their youth emergency shelter care program, Samantha earned her Master of Social Work degree from Concord University in 2018. During the Master of Social Work program, Samantha was part of the Phi Alpha Honor Society. Samantha was promoted to the Shelter Care Coordinator, an administrative position with the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, when she decided to pursue her Doctor of Social Work in 2021. Samantha is currently a Doctor of Social Work candidate at the University of Kentucky and is expecting to have her degree conferred in May 2023.
Samantha currently contracts for the State of Delaware public school system in a consolidated K-8 school. She creates and attends students’ Individualized Education Plans (IEP) and 504 meetings and is responsible for conducting all counseling in their plans. She assists in crisis management with the students and is responsible for all risk assessments. She often helps with resource and classroom management and assists the teachers with behavioral concerns or needs.
Samantha continues to contract with the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia as a staff trainer for the agency’s Trauma Training and New Directions training. Samantha created the trauma training the agency currently uses, and is one of a few certified people to train New Directions, a 12-module, 2-day, de-escalation training for congregate care.
Samantha identified a lack of trauma-informed care practices within shelter care statewide while working for the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia’s youth emergency shelter care program. As she expounded upon her knowledge of trauma, and the pervasive issues that trauma histories impose, she decided to focus her capstone on creating a training curriculum to assist in incorporating a trauma-informed care framework in youth emergency shelter care. Through implementing this curriculum, youth emergency shelter care agencies can limit vicarious trauma among staff and bring recovery, empowerment, and post-traumatic growth to the youth they serve.