Deadline: December 4, 2022
Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Foster Youth Internship (FYI) Program 2023
The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) Foster Youth Internship (FYI) Program® is a congressional internship for advocates who meet ALL of the eligibility requirements below. Participants will be placed in the Washington, D.C. legislative offices of Members of the U.S. Congress and write a federal child welfare policy report throughout the course of the summer. The dates for the FYI Program are May 30 – July 28, 2023. The candidate MUST be available for the entirety of the program to qualify.
The FYI Program began in 2003 as an effort to raise awareness to federal policymakers about the needs and unique perspectives of young adults who have experienced the U.S. foster care system. CCAI works with congressional offices to secure a congressional internship for each intern. In addition, CCAI organizes orientation, retreats, advocacy trainings, and various networking opportunities with experts in child welfare, government, and business. These combined experiences allow the interns to create a policy report that is presented at briefings to Congress, White House, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and released to policymakers and advocates across the country. As a result of the program, federal policymakers learn firsthand the experiences of youth in foster care and go on to use their new knowledge to inspire legislative change to federal child welfare and adoption policy. Interns participating in the FYI Program benefit both personally and professionally, gaining experience and skills that will bolster their careers for years to come.
This is an immersive nine-week, educational, and civic experience. Participants are not considered employees of CCAI nor the congressional office where they are placed for an internship. CCAI provides a weekly stipend funded through donations received for interns, as well as covers major expenses such as housing in Washington, D.C., transportation to/from Washington, D.C., and public transportation to/from the congressional office internship. Interns are responsible for some smaller expenses. Interns are required to live in dormitory-style housing assigned by CCAI for the duration of the program and to adhere to the guidance of their Programs and Resident Assistant (PRA), an alumnus/alumna of the FYI Program.
Each congressional office placement differs. Please note CCAI does not guarantee that the intern will be assigned projects that are related to child welfare.
Office responsibilities will likely include:
- Open, sort, and deliver mail
- Answer phones, greet constituents, run errands, deliver priority letters, and acquire signatures
- Copy, file, fax, data entry, and work on small legislative projects
- Work directly with congressional staff to research issues and compose constituent correspondence
- Attend committee hearings, sit in on meetings, attend press conferences, and take notes
- Provide constituent services and give tours of the U.S. Capitol
- Attend and assist with congressional briefings and meetings, including various events organized by CCAI
Applicants must meet ALL of the following eligibility criteria to be considered for a position in the program. The education requirement is due to the skills expected of congressional interns working on Capitol Hill and writing federal policy recommendations.
- Applicants are expected to have strong writing, grammar, and research skills.
- Applicants are required to have a strong interest in improving federal child welfare policy.
- Applicants are required to have spent at least 12 consecutive months and/or at least a total of 20 months in United States foster care during any point in their lives and be willing to share their experiences to raise awareness and effect change.
- Applicants are required to have completed at least four (4) semesters at an accredited institution of higher learning, such as a college, university, or vocational school by the start of the internship on May 30, 2023.
- Applicants are required to be currently pursuing a degree at an accredited institution of higher learning such as a college, university, or vocational school prior to the internship (May 30, 2023) OR have attained a degree at an accredited institution of higher learning such as a college, university, or vocational school within the past two years (on or after May 30, 2021).
- Applicants are required to be in Washington, D.C. for the entire duration of the program and participate in all mandatory weekend and evening events. Because of the unique group dynamic, as well as important orientations, training, and end-of-program events, selected participants will not be allowed to arrive to the FYI Program late or leave early. Those considering applying for the 2023 FYI Program with known conflicts with the program dates are encouraged to apply the following year.