Youth Advocacy Social Work Internship

The Social Work Intern will co-facilitate and assist with the continued development of Juvenile Law Center’s Youth Advocacy Program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Two of our programs, Youth Fostering Change (YFC) and Juveniles for Justice (J4J) are for youth ages 16-22 who are currently in or have had experiences in foster care and/or the juvenile justice systems. Each year, youth advocates work together to assess the systems’ strengths and weaknesses based on their experiences, select an area of focus, determine a strategy to address the identified weakness, and develop and implement advocacy projects, including campaigns, that work towards system reform. Juvenile Law Center provides essential support, ensuring that Youth Advocates develop the skills they need to succeed.

Once youth have been accepted into one of the programs, they are welcomed and encouraged to join Juvenile Law Center’s Youth Speakers Bureau, which provides additional opportunities to develop public speaking and speech writing skills. Through the development of these skills, youth advocates share their experiences and opinions on the child welfare and juvenile justice systems with clarity and confidence at local and national events.

The Social Work Intern will develop and research new modes of learning for the Youth Advocacy Program and meet with our youth advocates regularly to support their needs. Additionally, the Social Work Intern will also work with the Social Work Supervisor to identify independent work and/or research outside of the Youth Advocacy Program to enhance the intern’s development and facilitation skills. 


  • Program Delivery: Co-facilitating the Juveniles for Justice and Youth Fostering Change programs, which meet weekly at Juvenile Law Center’s office in Philadelphia; assisting with development of workshop curricula focused on the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, systems of oppression, and youth leadership development; and supporting youth to become community leaders. Please note: One social work intern will focus primarily on developing policy-based activities while the other social work intern will focus primarily on strategic sharing and team building activities.
  • Program Administration: Ensuring that all materials and supplies are ready for each weekly workshop; streamlining and maintaining documentation and data collection related to Youth Advocates; adhering to Pennsylvania mandated reporter requirements.
  • Youth Support: Conducting regular check-ins with the Youth Advocates; identifying and developing the skills sets of each Youth Advocate to advance the projects and to help them in their own development; supporting and encouraging program participation for each Youth Advocate; contacting Youth Advocates when necessary. Please note: one social work intern will focus primarily on education support for youth while the other social work intern will focus on general support and mental health support for youth.
  • Policy and Advocacy Work/Research: Performing research to assist with the development of the Juveniles for Justice and Youth Fostering Change youth-led campaigns to improve services and policies for older youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems; provide support and demonstrate advocacy techniques to ensure campaigns reach a variety of stakeholders, including, but not limited to: government officials, community members, private businesses, and other organizations. Conducting research for Youth Advocacy-based publications. Continuing the outreach of previous advocacy projects.
  • Independent Projects: Identifying and developing an independent project with the guidance of the Social Work Supervisor before the completion of their field placement.

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Entering into their 2nd year of field education in a Master’s Level Social Work Program 
  • Demonstrates an interest, commitment, along with previous experience working with older youth and young adults 
  • A general understanding of the juvenile justice system and the child welfare system, and its impact on Black and Brown communities and low-income communities 
  • Demonstrated commitment to achieving social justice and/or criminal justice reform 
  • Facilitation and public speaking experience in a variety of settings including workshops, panels, webinars, etc.    
  • Proficient in Word, Excel and PowerPoint 
  • Highly organized with excellent attention to detail 


How to Apply:

Email your resume and contact information for your program's field office to Cathy Moffa at Applications are due March 10, 2020.

Click here for more information on the Youth Advocacy Program.