The Foster Youth Internship is a prestigious internship that brings 12 former foster youth from across the country to Washington D.C. for two months, to intern for a member of Congress and write a policy report on issues that need to be addressed in the child welfare system.
Interns also attend training, professional development, networking events, and more to better understand the child welfare system, the legislative processes, and become better advocates. The internship covers the cost of housing, transportation, and provides a weekly stipend. The internship may be used for academic credit pending your academic institution's internship credit policy.
To determine your eligibility for the program, please check out the CCAI website that lists all of the eligibility for the program. Applications open each fall for the following upcoming summer. Applications are typically due in January of each year. (This program is currently virtual).
The All Star program is an internship opportunity that brings together former foster youth for a 6-week training and advocacy program with the intention that All Stars will continue this work in their own communities. The program is located in Seaside Oregon for 6 weeks with housing, travel, and a stipend included. Each summer, there are a total of 24 interns ages 18-24 selected to participate in the program, and selected candidates are split into one cohort for the first half of the summer and a second cohort for the second half of the summer. (This program is currently virtual).
For more information about this program, check out the Foster Club website. Applications open in the fall and close in March. Applications open in the fall and close in March.
Each year NFYI brings 100 former foster youth, ages 18-30 and from all over the United States, to Capitol Hill to shadow a member of Congress for a day. The program includes professional development on topics like foster youth education outcomes, addressing specific foster youth needs, strategic sharing, government, how bills are put into law, what members of Congress do on a daily basis, etc. The program is a week long, and includes housing, meals, and transportation. Shadow Day attendees must participate in pre-departure workshops that go over travel plans, your stay in Washington D.C., and other important information that is needed prior to departure. (This program is currently virtual).
Applications open in the fall and close in January every year. For more information on Shadow Day visit the NFYI website.
The National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council brings together young people with lived experience to inform priorities, policy, practices, as well as evaluate policy and programs on a national scale. There are 20 council members ages 18-26 that have current or former experience with the child welfare system. Applications open after council members have served for their full term of 2 years. For more information on the council and how to apply, explore the National Foster Care Youth & Alumni Policy Council website. (This opportunity is currently virtual).
The National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) is a survey that every young person who ages out of foster care takes to measure outcomes like housing, education, employment, etc.
NYTD Reviewers are young people with lived experience ages 18-25 and prior engagement experience in local, county or state youth boards. Reviewers are tasked with completing training to conduct federal reviews, conducting stakeholder interviews with state employees and young people in foster care to understand how the state has implemented NYTD standards, and providing assistance with final reports and recommendations.
For more information about this organization, visit the Foster Youth In Action or their LinkedIn page.
Foster Care Alumni of America was founded with the belief that foster youth should feel empowered and have opportunities to thrive. Their work centers around former foster youth advocating for current youth in foster care through policies, programs, and research. There are various state chapters throughout the United States. For more information on how you can get involved visit the Foster Care Alumni of America website.
Foster Youth in Action is a foster youth-led nonprofit organization that advocates for current and former foster youth nationally. Through programs like Learning Hub, foster youth ages 18-24 collaborate with advisers to better understand the needs of those in care and strengthen program policies. They also host the Leaders for Change Conference, a national leadership conference held every year in Washington D.C. that connects youth with elected officials and stakeholders. This conference also serves to empower youth so that they can continue this work in their own communities. Foster Youth in Action also has a youth-led leadership committee for youth ages 15-24 that works to push forward Foster Youth in Action’s national policy campaign and plan the Leaders for Change Conference. For more information about this organization, visit their website or Linkedin page.