I have had the privilege of interning this summer at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI) in Washington, DC. CCAI is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to educate policymakers on issues related to adoption and foster care in an effort to remove policy barriers that hinder children from finding permanent, safe and loving families. What I have learned since I’ve been here is that CCAI loves children, and they work very hard to raise awareness of legislation that could help children all over the world.
My internship has involved learning about the legislative process, researching pending and current laws, and learning about child welfare issues that are impacting children around the world. I have also been able to attend meetings and briefings with child welfare experts and members of Congress.
One of my favorite parts of the internship has been getting to work with CCAI’s Foster Youth Internship Program™. Each summer, CCAI brings in a group of young adults who have spent time during their lives in the foster care system. The goal of the program is to raise awareness to federal policy makers by giving these young interns a chance to share their unique perspectives on the foster care system. Each of the interns writes a policy paper recommending legislative change in an area of the foster care system where they feel that change is most needed. As part of my internship, I have had the opportunity to work with and advise one of these interns as she researches and writes about an area of law where she is recommending legislative change. It has been a great experience to not only learn about the legislative process and what laws are currently in place, but to be able to work with such a great group of students who are seeking to make such a positive impact for children in foster care across the country. Later this summer, the group will present their policy papers at a Congressional briefing.
In addition to the projects I’ve been working on, I’ve also gotten to experience the exciting and fast-paced work environment in DC. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to further my legal skills at such a great organization this summer!