Family Support & Treatment Center Internship Opportunity


Family Support & Treatment Center

Volunteer Engaged Learning Internship Opportunity
(Social Work/MFT/Family Support)

Mission Statement: The Family Support & Treatment Center serves the community by supporting families as they build stronger and healthier relationships.  An attitude of dignity and respect is fostered in interactions with clients and other agencies.  While the Center’s primary focus is the prevention and treatment of child abuse, a wide range of services is provided to meet individual and family needs.

Application Instructions:
Please contact Eric Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator via email or phone:

Internship Objectives: Bachelor level internships provide students with an overview of employment opportunities appropriate for this level of education and experience.  Students are exposed to the effects of child abuse and neglect upon the individual, family, community, and society at large and are expected to work with both children and adults throughout the internship.  Specific work assignments related to these objectives are as follows:

Adoption Respite
Our Adoption Respite program provides in-home respite services at no charge, to parents who have adopted children from within the Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) system or who currently have a DCFS adoption caseworker. Care is provided in-home to children ages 0-18 for 8 hours a week, in up to 12-hour time periods. Interns will asset with in home visits.

In-home respite services are provided to families at risk of adoption disruption to increase successful interactions within the family system and to provide parents with opportunities to rejuvenate themselves. This rejuvenation helps parents to better handle the unique challenges that come with adopting children who have experiences trauma from abuse and/or neglect, who struggle to feel safe enough to trust adults to care for them appropriately, and who continually test their parents’ commitment level to maintaining the children within the family unit.

Children – Interns serve as mentors individual children with specific needs as delineated by agency staff.  Skill development is encouraged in areas such as education, hygiene, personal safety, self-esteem, and social development.  Interactions may take place at the agency, in the child’s home, or in public venues.  In addition to individual client interactions, interns will also be involved with children in group settings, both in the crisis/respite nursery and in social skills groups.  Through these experiences, interns are exposed to the dynamics related to group management, psychoeducational settings, and the trauma related to removal from the home, domestic violence, and other life-altering experiences.

Case Management
Adults – Case management provides interns with opportunities to develop skills related to assisting clients with needs specific to their individual circumstances.  Abuse victims often struggle with the most basic needs including food, clothing, and shelter, as well as medical and dental services.  They also need assistance with educational and employment opportunities.  Case management is provided to adults on both individual and family basis as deemed appropriate to the situation.

Adults – Education is critical to breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect.  Therefore, interns participate in two forums of parent education.  Traditional Parent Education Classes are taught at the agency under the direction of the agency’s Parent Advocate.  Interns assist staff in the organization of class members, teaching lessons, and providing parents with documentation of completion of the class.  Research indicates that one of the most effective means of child abuse prevention is home visiting programs.  Therefore, the agency also participates in an In-Home Parenting program.  The “Love, Limits, and Latitude” program, also used in parenting classes, is used in individual homes and adapted to the specific needs of each family.  Interns co-facilitate these educational opportunities during which they are exposed to vulnerable populations.  Parent/child dynamics are addressed and practiced within the home setting so as to solidify the concepts and assist parents as they strive to improve their relationships with their children, provide effective and non-threatening discipline techniques, and encourage children to achieve age and developmental milestones.

Prevention Education
Children/Adults – Student interns assist agency staff as they present Prevention Education programs to children ages preschool through high school.  Program topics include, but are not limited to: Personal Safety, Dynamics of Abuse, Stress Management, Dating Violence and Date Rape, and Depression and Suicide Prevention.  Parents are also provided with opportunities to learn these same principles.  Additionally, presentations may be given to community organization, neighborhood gatherings, and civic leaders, and other groups interested in learning about and contributing to the prevention and treatment of abuse and neglect.

Research and Fund Raising
Organizational – Students interested in the nonprofit environment must understand the administrative necessity of research, fund raising, and quality assurance.  Therefore, interns will be exposed to these critical functions by completing one grant application which requires research regarding the prevalence and effects of child abuse and neglect.  They will also assist in data collection, management, and analysis related to agency programs.  Finally, they may participate in the planning, preparation, and execution of fund raising and community events as appropriate to their internship experience.

Agency/Intern Relationship
Specific internship responsibilities will be tailored to meet both the students’ and agency needs.  Assignments will be based upon students’ areas of interest with the understanding that exposure to a variety of opportunities is necessary to achieve the intended purposes of the internship experience.

Application Instructions:
Please contact Eric Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator via email or phone:

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