CDF's Policy group seeks interns to work on the issues described below. Interns might work on a single issue or on multiple issues depending on need and interest:

Child Health

The Child Health staff works to ensure that every child has a Healthy Start in life. Their primary policy goal is to ensure all children have access to affordable, comprehensive health coverage that is easy to get and to keep. Work includes policy analysis, legislative and administrative advocacy, research and coalition building around implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the federal budget, and other elements of maternal and child health policy.

Child Welfare and Mental Health

The Child Welfare and Mental Health staff works to improve outcomes for children and youth by promoting public policies, practices and programs that will keep children safe and in permanent nurturing families and communities. Particular attention is given to those policies and programs that serve or advocate for children who have been abused or neglected, or are at risk of abuse and neglect; are in families challenged by substance abuse, mental health problems and domestic violence; are being raised by grandparents or other relatives; have serious emotional problems and need mental health services, and/or are at risk of coming to the attention of the child welfare system. CDF uses a range of advocacy strategies to address these concerns.

Early Childhood Policy

CDF fully supports the need for consistent, quality education beginning in a child’s earliest years. CDF's early childhood staff works to promote high quality early childhood experiences for ALL children. One of the main areas of work is spearheading the national campaign to focus public attention on ensuring all children have access to free full-day kindergarten. CDF works with other early childhood advocates and professionals to promote additional funding for programs serving low income children birth through five years of age.

Education Policy

CDF is committed to ensuring that every child in America attends a school that is warm, welcoming and where learning happens. CDF intends to transform the Cradle to Prison Pipeline into a system where every child has the opportunity to grow, learn and maximize their potential. CDF’s seeks to achieve those goals by: reforming school discipline policies that push children out of school, ensuring all children have access to full-day kindergarten and strengthening the Title I program that provides federal funding for the education of children in concentrated poverty.

Juvenile Justice

CDF strives to ensure that fewer children encounter the juvenile justice system and the adult criminal justice system and that those who do receive the help they need to thrive. To that end, efforts are made to address the holistic needs of children and youth (1) at the front end (prevention and diversion), (2) during time spent in the juvenile justice or adult criminal justice systems, and (3) the back end (upon release and reentry into the community). Focusing on these three points will allow the “justice” part of juvenile justice to have true meaning by focusing on youth development, rehabilitation, and family engagement/strengthening families. CDF’s juvenile justice work includes advocacy, coalition building, policy analysis, and research.

Policy Research

The research team within CDF’s policy unit supports the organization’s policy efforts by analyzing data, preparing timely and pertinent reports and fact sheets, and conducting rapid response research for internal and external data requests. Policy research interns will work across all of CDF’s issue areas, identifying federal and other data for use in fact sheets, reports, and other CDF publications. Policy research interns will also summarize new reports, attend briefings and hearings, and research issues areas to support the policy team’s work. This opportunity is ideal for applicants seeking a broad exposure to all of CDF’s policy issue areas. CDF has a long history of publishing reports that raise awareness about children’s needs and highlight solutions (See our Research Library on the CDF website). CDF seeks masters level interns to assist with analysis of data and research to support development of CDF publications across a range of issues. Policy research interns will work across all of CDF's issue areas, analyzing federal and other data for use in fact sheets, reports, and other CDF publications. Possible issues that interns might work on include: child poverty, health care access, education, early childhood, juvenile justice, child welfare and gun violence. This opportunity is ideal for applicants with a quantitative background and an interest in social justice for children.

Preferred Policy Research Qualifications:

  • Strong quantitative skills. Basic statistics background.
  • Basic knowledge of Stata or SPSS. Strong excel skills.
  • Experience with federal data sources (Census, NCHS, HHS, DOE, etc.)
  • Commitment to social advocacy and CDF’s mission to be a voice for all children in America.

Policy Internship Primary Responsibilities:

  • Identifying and researching initiatives in health, early childhood development, education, poverty, child welfare, gun violence, juvenile and criminal justice to address the needs of children and families
  • Tracking and analyzing federal and state legislation
  • Monitoring, analyzing, and summarizing policy developments,  the federal budget, research briefs and studies that relate to children, low income families, and other key issue areas
  • Attending hearings and briefings, both on and off Capitol Hill, that are relevant to CDF’s work, and writing succinct summaries to share with the policy team 
  • Contributing to the development of issue briefs, fact sheets, and other materials relevant to our work for publication or the website
  • Rapid response research for internal and external data requests
  • Participating in the educational component of the CDF internship program, including luncheons, seminars, and trips
  • Other duties and projects as assigned

Policy Internship Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to work effectively and calmly in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment with daily deadlines
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills
  • Ability to organize facts and present issues in a clear, concise, and logical manner, both orally and in writing
  • Strong internet research skills
  • Self-starter who is comfortable working independently
  • Demonstrated interest in learning about policies that affect children and low-income families.
  • Commitment to social advocacy and CDF’s mission to be a voice for all children in America
  • For those interested in policy research, strong excel skills and ideally experience using a statistical software packaged (Stata or SPSS), and experience with federal data sources (census, NCHS, HHS, DOE, etc.)