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Child Welfare and Mental Health Internships

The Child Welfare and Mental Health staff work to improve outcome for children and youths by promoting public policies, practices and programs to help keep children safe and in permanent nurturing families and communities.  We focus on children and youths who:

  • Have been abused and neglected or are at risk of maltreatment,
  • Are in families challenged by substance abuse, mental health problems and domestic violence, problems that often bring children to the child welfare system,
  • Are being raised by grandparents or other relatives, or are in foster care or other group settings through the formal care of public child welfare systems, and
  • Are in the need of mental health services.

Interns will identify and survey promising policies, practices and programs in states and communities, prepare research briefs and fact sheets, analyze legislative and fiscal policies and monitor hearings and briefings on Capitol Hill and advocacy group meetings on various concerns in order to:

  • Help children benefit from the newly enacted Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008, the most significant reforms for abused and neglected children in foster care in more than a decade.
  • Identify promising approaches to promote services and treatment for parents and children challenged by substance abuse, mental health problems and domestic violence.
  • Identify and promote effective policies and practices to strengthen the workforce charged with assisting children who are abused and neglected and their families.
  • Promote policy reforms to improve outcomes for children and youths by increasing investments in prevention, specialized treatment, and post-permanency services.

This work is ideal for graduate students in

  • Law
  • Social work or mental health fields
  • Child and family studies
  • Public policy or public administration

Strong consideration will be given to students who have experience with the needs of vulnerable children and families and/or strategies to address these needs.