Thursday, June 8, 2023

Client Advocacy Internship with Safe Shores - Fall 2023

 Fall Internship- Client Advocacy Intern, Safe Shores

Apply Here

Safe Shores – The D.C. Children’s Advocacy Center is an organization striving for excellence as a service provider and as a workplace. Safe Shores values respect, honesty, trustworthiness, professionalism, growth and learning, taking care to give care, innovation, teamwork and collaboration. The Client Advocacy Intern is a respected and resourceful individual who can work well as a member of our team and is passionate about developing and implementing innovative, effective solutions to help children and families heal. 

Working in a child-friendly facility, housing several public and private agencies, the Client Advocacy Intern is responsible for supporting clients and staff within the Client Advocacy Services program. Primary responsibilities include providing supervision and support to children and families at the center, supporting advocacy efforts through research and service delivery, assisting with maintaining program materials and supplies, maintaining a forensically-sound, trauma-informed, and client-ready waiting area, and other duties as assigned. Client Advocates and interns are often the first points of contact for victims of child abuse and their caregivers. The focus of victim support and advocacy is to help reduce trauma for the child and family members and to improve case outcomes. This position is a mandated reporter for child abuse and neglect under District of Columbia Statute §4-1321.02.

The duration of the internship would be a minimum of one semester and a maximum of three semesters (Fall 2023, Spring 2024, and Summer 2024 maximally). This internship is ideal for students who need internship hours to complete requirements towards their degree program in the human services arena. 


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging: 

Safe Shores expects all employees, volunteers, and interns to respect and be sensitive to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging and the cultural differences of applicants, other employees, and those we serve. We demonstrate this respect and sensitivity without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, familial status, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, disability (actual or perceived), source of income, place of residence or business, military service, and any other basis protected by federal or District of Columbia law.

Safe Shores will take appropriate action, including termination, for employees, volunteers and interns whose words or actions do not uphold our standard of respect and sensitivity to cultural differences.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned. 

· Welcome families to Safe Shores, bringing them upstairs and getting them settled into the playroom. Sit with children in the playroom as needed.

• Ensure client waiting spaces and playroom are tidied between appointments by making sure games and toys are orderly and in good condition.

• Provide support to child and family during the forensic interview process; engage children in developmentally tailored, forensically sound, and trauma-informed activities

• Critique their own interactions with the children (and caregivers when applicable) and produce write-ups reflecting their observations and conclusions.

• Provide children and families with snacks and drinks.

• Prepare clothing bags for children as assigned. 

• Administer Outcome Measurement System (OMS) surveys to caregivers after intakes with Client Advocates.

• Provide support and supervision during client groups as needed.

• Research local programs and other resources to develop materials and information that will meet the needs of current and future clients.

• Make phone calls to outside agencies on behalf of Safe Shores’ Client Advocacy Services Program.

• Provide accurate responses to children and families’ questions as they arise, and/or consult as needed to seek accurate information.

• Collaborate with Client Advocacy Services staff and supervisors and communicate pro-actively. 

• Observe at least 3 forensic interviews and explore the developmental dynamics of forensic interviewing with a Forensic Interviewer.

• Observe the Multi-Disciplinary Team (Metropolitan Police Department, Child and Family Services Agency, United States Attorney’s Office, Office of the Attorney General, Children’s National Medical Center and The DC Children’s Advocacy Center) as they observe forensic interviews, noting dynamics of the team.

• Assist Client Advocacy Services staff in inventorying, stocking, and maintaining all program supplies and materials.

• Participate in regular individual supervision, team meetings, trainings, and other meetings as required. 

• Assist with data entry as assigned. 

• Assist in the implementation of Safe Shores’ seasonal drives as needed.

• Support the development and sustainment of Safe Shores’ Caregiver Support Group.

• Other duties as assigned. 


Essential Qualifications: 

• Must be at least 18 years of age.

• Must be enrolled in a bachelor’s level degree-seeking educational program related to children services, family sciences, human services, advocacy, psychology, mental health, clinical services, or related degree program. 

• At least one year of experience working, volunteering, or interning in a professional setting. 

• Availability to commit to a minimum of 16 hours per week.

• Demonstrates capacity to provide trauma-informed, client-centered, and culturally responsive services.

• Demonstrates strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills through ability to handle complaints, mediate disputes, resolve grievances and conflicts, and negotiate with others. 

• Ability to organize and prioritize tasks to maximize results and ensure deadlines are met. 

• Ability to be a self-starter and work independently. 

• Ability to work as part of a multidisciplinary team and collaborate with a wide range of professionals including law enforcement, social services, medical and mental health providers. 

• Ability and willingness to establish and maintain positive working relationships. 

• Ability to be flexible and adjust to a quickly changing schedule and handle distractions and interruptions. 

• Knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity and ability to exhibit sensitivity in dealing with people of varied backgrounds, beliefs and abilities. 

• Excellent communication skills, positive attitude and professional demeanor and attitude. 

• Knowledge of local community resources and programs.

• Energy and enthusiasm for helping and working directly with children; commitment to children’s advocacy center mission/model. 

• High level of comfort with technology and proficiency with MS Office applications and the internet; excellent writing skills. 

• Ability to successfully pass Child Protection Registry clearance and criminal background check. 

Preferred Qualifications 

• Experience working with children and families.

• Formal training and/or certification as victim advocate or crisis counselor. 

• Oral and written Spanish language skills preferred.