Youth who have spent time in the foster care system have the opportunity to participate in an internship on Capitol Hill. The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) is now accepting applications for its 2020 Foster Youth Internship Program (FYI).
The FYI Program began in 2003 as an effort to raise awareness to federal policymakers about the needs and unique perspectives of those who spent time in foster care. Throughout the summer, CCAI organizes retreats, advocacy trainings and various networking opportunities with experts in the child welfare field.
Participants are also paired for a summer internship in the office of a member of Congress, or with a congressional committee. The dates for the 2020 FYI Program are May 25 – July 31, 2020, and the candidate must be available for the entirety of the program to qualify. Interns receive a weekly stipend and housing during their assignment in Washington, D.C.
After researching policy issues affecting foster children across the country, the FYIs create a federal child welfare policy report that is presented at a congressional briefing and released to child welfare advocates across the country. The report has become a must-read piece of youth advocacy each year.
The CCAI FYI Program is a congressional internship for students and recent graduates who any youth or young adult who spent at least 24 consecutive months, or a total of 36 months in the U.S. foster care system, are welcome to apply. All applicants must have completed at least four semesters of schooling at an accredited institution of higher learning, such as a college, university or vocational school and must currently be enrolled in a higher education program or have graduated in the last two years.
Applications for the 2020 Foster Youth Internship Program are open until January 8, 2020, at 11 p.m. EST.