Children from historically underserved populations (including those with disabilities, and those involved with the child welfare system) may present with complex problems compounded by systemic barriers to potential solutions. Clinical and school psychologists routinely engage in individual case advocacy to ensure that children and their families receive psychological, developmental, educational and social services. However, when our efforts to improve the outcomes for children and families are thwarted by uninformed public policy, regulations, or practice, we need to address these problems at the systems-level.
The Children and Policy rotation is designed to provide the intern with exposure to public policy and experience working with community-based children’s advocates to ensure that public systems provide children and families the services they need for healthy wellbeing. This rotation involves strategic partnerships with advocacy organizations focused on healthcare, behavioral health, education, early child care, child welfare, juvenile justice, disabilities rights, and public funding of children’s issues. The psychology trainee will work with attorneys, social workers, and public health professionals to learn more about the organization’s legal advocacy and community projects. The trainee will assist with a project or educational publication and provide consultation and technical assistance.
The psychology intern will be expected to read pertinent public policy documents as a foundation for contributing to an advocacy project. Specific collaborations will be established based on consideration of what projects local/regional partners are currently undertaking in conjunction with the intern’s background, interest and expertise.