Each fall Masters and Doctoral level students from campuses around the state come to Kinship Center for practical training in social work and psychology. Represented this year are USC, Azusa Pacific University, Whittier College, and California State Universities at Fullerton, Long Beach and Monterey Bay.

The postgraduate (and a limited number of undergraduate) students work with professionals in Kinship Center’s placement programs and children’s mental health clinics to gain hands-on experience in the unique issues asociated with foster care, relative care, and adoption. In the clinics, for example, interns conduct psychological assessments, assist in forming and facilitating therapy groups, conduct dvelopmental screenings, provide in-home behavioral services, and provide direct clinical services. They participate in weekly training sessions with Kinship Center and outside experts in topics such as developmental trauma, the use of art in therapy, parenting the traumatized child, the adoption journey, and others.

Each year feedback from participants and universities about the quality and effectiveness of Kinship Center’s intern programs has been overwhelmingly positive, and space is generally at a premium. Kinship Center field instructors work to create and maintain an intern training program that continues to be the placement of choice for local universities.

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