community engagement team Through our Community Engagement Team, we provide the opportunity for individuals to become a part of our agency in three distinct ways: mentoring, interning and volunteering. Mentoring allows community members to become volunteer mentors with us so they can reach out to our clients who are in need of a healthy adult in their lives. Interning provides students the opportunity to gain experience with high-needs children, youth and families through a mostly paid position, helping students gain valuable knowledge of the Human Service Industry while earning a wage and/or college credits. The team also recruits and supports Volunteers from the community who wish to partner with us to accomplish our mission by working in the office, providing support to our youth and/or at our events. interns The Family Care Network began recruiting Interns in 1990, and has had 577 since that time. Interns work directly with our youth and families, help support our staff and participate in our events. an intern’s story I started at FCNI as a Direct Service Intern with no clear grasp of what this field or job was. I was apprehensive to work directly with the youth and families, concerned that I would not know what to do. But throughout my time with FCNI, I can say that I never again had any of those concerns or questions. I not only gained a greater understanding of the Human Services field, but I grew personally in my interpersonal and communication skills, and have developed my own profes- sional goals. My internship was so unlike any other experience I have ever had. It was truly a privilege to work directly with the youth and families, and I realized this pretty early on in my internship. As a Direct Service Intern, you wear many different hats. You can be a cheerleader, support your youth’s efforts not to get into fights at school, or a dependable ride to get your kid from their foster home to school, or a safe person for your youth to share their good days and their bad days with. All of these roles just scratch the surface of what this internship was like. After my first quarter, I got the opportunity to work in the Therapeutic Foster Care program, getting to work directly with a youth and be part of her team. Additionally, I was also given a mentor within the foster care program, which means that I got to meet with a program supervisor once a week to discuss case files, crises, placements, questions, and everything in between. This opportunity allowed me to hear from someone who had worked in the field for several years—hearing how and why decisions are made, the complications staff and youth deal with daily, and what it looks like to genuinely live out this job. I cannot express how much my internship with FCNI changed and shaped me, both personally and professionally. There were definitely hard days, and the challenges of the position should not go ignored. But I can say now, that the difficult days were some of my favorite days because I was stretched and tested in new ways. Even with the challenges, some of my favorite moments from the past year were during my internship, especially getting to spend time with the kids. My internship not only provided me a great opportunity to develop and clarify my future vocational goals, but it was also a beautiful opportunity to be a part of these kids’ lives—to experience their resilience, strength and success! 2017-2018 Outcomes Actively Assigned Interns 37 Intern Hours Completed 11,966 28