My week at Lawyers for Children

This summer, I am so fortunate to be working as a social work intern with the non-profit advocacy organization Lawyers for Children. Lawyers for Children, or LFC as everyone likes to call it, consists of attorneys and social workers that provide free representation and services to children of New York City who have been either voluntarily placed in foster care, or are involved in cases of abuse, neglect, adoption, or high conflict custody cases.

LawyersForChildren

As an intern, I work under the supervision of my assigned social worker, and I am able to be involved in her cases first hand. This includes reading the cases and writing up case notes, visiting the youth’s foster home or group placement, sitting in on client interviews, and attending court for our youths when necessary. Along with about 20 other legal and social work interns, I also am able to participate in training throughout the summer. This allows the interns to not only learn more about what LFC as an organization seeks to accomplish for the youths, but also take a deeper look into the New York City child welfare system itself and the exact situations that we are fighting for for our clients.

Though I’m sure most people feel this way on their first day, I was incredibly nervous as I was making my way to the offices. However, I was calmed as I walked through the doors and saw crafts and paintings all over the walls created by the LFC clients. Not only that, but the working environment itself was so friendly and all of the employees were beyond welcoming. All of the interns sit together in our own conference room/office space, so we have really been able to get to know each other. There are even a few Brandeis alums in the office which helped to make for an easy transition. It was incredible to me how comfortable I felt at this internship so quickly. Within the first week I, along with the other interns, were really able to hit the ground running and be completely immersed in the organization. I sat in on and observed 4 court cases in Manhattan’s Family Court for a few of our clients. During this time, I sat with my assigned social worker as she interviewed our clients to find out more about their wishes and goals moving forward in their foster care placement cases, and we then relayed this information to the lawyers representing each case. I also was able to visit a mother-child foster care placement home, where all of the residents are aged 16-21 women in the system who have children of their own.

New York Family Court

This summer, I’m hoping to learn more about the inner-workings of the New York City foster care system. I am so looking forward to assisting this organization and advocating for our clients to the best of my abilities. Because this is such a hands-on experience, I am excited to learn what it really takes to be a social worker and hopefully determine what path I may follow in the future.

 

2 thoughts on “My week at Lawyers for Children”

  1. Hi Samantha,
    Your internship sounds like it requires a lot of hard work and dedication. I am very astonished to hear the kind of work you are doing and trying the best to your ability learn and understand the foster care system in New York. I am very interested to keep reading more of your post and learn more about the cases your are working on. It seems that you are always on the go and that your internship requires of great concentration and determination. Dealing with children, mothers and teens in the foster system is not an easy job, but it seems that your are doing an awesome job coping with any challenge that you are confronted with. I like the way that you have a very supportive team and group of interns that you can trust and feel very comfortable working with. Keep up the great work, and hope to read more of your post in the future.

    Keep working hard as you are already doing!!

  2. Hi Liset,
    Thank you so much for your comment! It certainly has been an incredibly busy summer and very “on-the-go” but I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity. Working with these clients has been a challenge but so wonderful–especially with the support of my entire office.

    Thanks again!
    -Samantha

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