We believe Experience = Expertise.
The All-Star Program provides leadership and service opportunities for young people who have spent their formative years in foster care. For young adults who have beaten the odds and thrived in spite of difficult circumstances, the All-Star internship is an opportunity to communicate your unique perspectives and resilient spirits with your peers. In addition to participating in a large number of nationwide in-person and virtual events for youth and child welfare professionals over the summer, the FosterClub All-Stars will provide training, advocate for system improvement and promote public awareness nationally throughout the year and teach other youth, adults, and child welfare professionals in their states, youth boards, and homes how to advocate for themselves and the youth in care.
As an important part of their training, FosterClub works with the All-Stars to understand their personal experiences and empower themselves and peers to connect with other youth to build a community of support, identity, and understanding. Participants learn to reframe their foster care experiences as relevant expertise and to use that expertise effectively to motivate their peers, child welfare staff, and the public to action on behalf of children and youth in care.
For the 2022 All-Star Internship, training will take place both virtual and in-person due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, but opportunities for advocacy are provided year-round.
Application & Selection Process
The 2022 All-Star application process will begin on January 1st.
- Applications are considered complete when a youth submits:
- A completed All-Star application form
- Interviews will begin in March 2022.
- Selections will be made and announced in late March.
- Applications Close Wednesday, February 15, 2022.
- Application extended for Vermont April 15th
- Priority will be given to young people who have previously attended a FosterClub Teen Conference, participated on a Youth Advisory Board, or who have demonstrated leadership skills or leadership potential in their communities.
- Commitment to diversity: We make selections to help us achieve diversity in culture, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, educational background, foster care experience, etc. Part of our mission is to work to make sure foster youth are accurately represented across the nation and this includes showcasing as many diverse perspectives and experiences as we can. Young people who apply, but are not selected should in no way view that as an indication of their abilities or personality. It simply means that other young people were selected to help us build a diverse team for the program.
Typical virtual working hours for All-Stars will be Monday-Friday 9:00 am to 3:00 pm PT/12:00 pm to 6 pm ET. In-person working hours for All-Stars will be Monday-Friday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm PT. Full participation in training sessions and all activities is expected. Typical duties of the All-Stars include, but are not limited to:
- Facilitate workshops and activities at conferences and other events.
- Provide guidance, advice, and knowledge to peers in the system.
- Produce web content, audio/video recordings, and photoshoots.
- Research topics pertaining to child welfare.
- Provide youth perspective content for supportive adults.
- Write blogs about your experiences as an All-Star.
Skills and Experience
The All-Star internship is built to provide our young leaders with professional development opportunities and coaching. All-Stars can expect to develop the following skills and experience:
Familiarity with key equity issues is child welfare, juvenile justice, and associated systems
Increased knowledge related to the child welfare system overall
Enhance Youth Engagement skills by strengthening ones ability to work with young people impacted by child welfare systems
Engage in independent leadership skills through:
Teamwork/collaboration, especially the ability to work across differences
Critical thinking and creative problem-solving
Advocacy of self and system involved peers
Strengthen verbal and written communication skills within digital and face-to-face environments
Creating user-generated content to connect with peers
Utilizing tech tools (video, audio, podcast, blog, etc.)
Ability to network and identify career or volunteer advocacy skills
Internship Core Competencies
Equity & Social Justice: Understanding equity, disproportionality, and disparities within child welfare and associated systems (e.g juvenile justice) are of critical importance. Obtaining information about inequities and injustices can be difficult within child welfare. The ability to identify inequities, propose solutions, and effectively work across differences is critical to the success of any intern.
Leadership & Advocacy: The Child Welfare System is working as designed. Unfortunately, the system is designed to exacerbate inequalities. Given this design, young people with lived experience in the foster care system have the opportunity to change the system through their advocacy efforts.
Youth Engagement: A core aspect of the mission of FosterClub is to connect young people in foster care with each other. Young people with lived experience in foster care are best positioned to reach their peers and provide support. Developing skills to reach and engage youth in face-to-face and digital formats are critical to the success of any intern.
Personal Growth & Development: In 2014, FosterClub partnered with Impact Justice to conduct a three-year evaluation of our All-Star internship program. The goal was to determine how the program affected participants and added value beyond other leadership programs available to foster youth; the following framework was developed as a result. These five areas are where FosterClub will focus our efforts of growth in the All-Star interns.
- Story of Self (Personal Narrative): Understand how to tell your story to: protect yourself and others, connect with others and influence change, and attribute positive purpose to past experiences.
- Meaningful Purpose: See self as able to serve others rather than solely as a recipient of services.
- Attachment & Connectedness: Understand how to establish healthy boundaries in relationships, keep from being taken advantage of, and be willing to put trust in others when appropriate.
- Self Regulation: Understand how past trauma might impact behaviors, and understand how to maintain relationships after conflict. Build skills to self regulate in healthy ways, and to manage stress and well-being.
- Knowledge of the System: Understand how the system works and what resources are available to you as someone who has experienced foster care.
All-Star interns are generally free to do what they'd like outside of working hours. FosterClub has a commitment to ensuring all interns, as well as staff, feel comfortable, supported, and safe for the duration of the 6-week internship.
- Healthy relationship boundaries: Our program provides opportunities for young people to interact positively with one another through structured and unstructured activities. Interns will be living, commuting, traveling, and working with peers throughout the 6-week residential portion of the program. All-Stars are expected to maintain appropriate and healthy personal and professional relationships with fellow All-Stars, PSI's, Staff or FosterClub clients.
- Housing expectations: Minors are prohibited from purchasing and using alcohol, cigarettes, or marijuana in Oregon until the age of 21. Our program is inclusive of young adults from a variety of ages, cultures and backgrounds (including LGBTQ2S+ youth, youth with disabilities, experience with addiction, etc.). Out of respect for your peers' safety, preferences and self-regulation, All-Stars are expected to refrain from drug and alcohol use in the residence.
- Performance: The All-Star Program may demand travel, overnight stays, early mornings and late-nights – and prompt attendance is required. All-Stars are expected to engage in training sessions and all activities to the best of their ability.
- Safe conduct: Staff members have been trained in managing group dynamics and creating a brave environment for interns to discuss sensitive topics. All-Stars are encouraged to bring their whole and authentic selves to the internship. Thus, All-Stars are expected to engage in behavior that respects the race, culture, sexual orientation and gender identity of fellow All-Stars, PSI's, Staff and FosterClub clients. Physical and sexual harassment or discrimination, derogatory language, criminal activity, violence, and bullying are not tolerated and may result in early dismissal from the program.
Equal Opportunity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility
FosterClub is committed to building a more just, diverse, inclusive and accessible work environment. We strive to be a workplace where people of color, LGBTQ+/2S, and those with non-traditional career paths can thrive. As an Equal Opportunity Employer we are also committed to upholding applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations prohibiting unlawful discrimination in employment on the basis of age, ancestry, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, political ideology, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status, or the presence of a physical, cognitive, or sensory disability. Black, Indigenous and other People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+/2S folx, women and people with lived experience in foster care are urged to apply.
If you have any questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.717.1552. If you are still in care and your caseworker, foster parent or guardian have any questions, we also encourage them to call.