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What it Means to be a Corps Member

Your two-year experience with the Corps will consist not only of your day-to-day responsibilities as a caseworker, but also the vital training, support, mentoring and career guidance the Children’s Corps program provides.As a Children’s Corps member you will make a positive and lasting impact on the lives and futures of countless children and families if you approach your work with optimism, dedication, respect, passion and compassion. You will also receive invaluable support from the growing network of other Corps members and gain personal growth from the people you work with, as well as serve.

Benefits of the Children’s Corps program: Corps members are offered a rich experience in which to work, learn, grow, and significantly improve outcomes for children and families involved in the child welfare system. Benefits include:

What Happens Once I Become a Corps Member?

Placement: Once the new class has been established, Corps members will receive detailed information about the various positions for placement and will be asked to give their preference. Corps members may be placed in any of the 5 boroughs of New York City and/or Westchester. The program takes members' placement preference (foster care, preventive, etc.), living location, degree level, and language into consideration during the placement process. Positions vary depending on the agency at which Corps members are placed; however, Children's Corps staff work diligently to ensure the best fit for the member and the agency. Corps members are asked to be patient and flexible as our staff work to make the best placements possible. The placement process can take several weeks to work out and in some cases members may not know the details of their placement until some point during the Summer Training Academy. It is common for agencies to not be certain where the Corps member will be placed until closer to the Corps member’s start date. Employment start dates may begin as soon as training is over and must begin no later than the first day after Labor Day.

Pre-Service Training: The Children’s Corps Summer Training Academy takes place during the month of July at Columbia University School of Social Work. Training includes classroom learning, as well as shadowing in the field opportunities. Training topics cover a wide range of both child welfare specific and general social work practice, including but are not limited to: child development, family engagement, assessment, self-awareness and bias, levels of care, abuse & neglect, family court, Family Team Conferencing, mental health, substance abuse, LGBTQ, agency culture, having difficult conversations with kids and more.

Children’s Corps training focuses on key competencies and principles needed to prepare new workers for a strong start working on the frontlines of child welfare. Summer training enhances these essential competencies, and lays the foundation for success in the field. The following elements are key to the success of our Summer Training Academy:

Coaching and Support: The Children’s Corps program offers numerous outlets of support for its members, which help them to become successful child welfare professionals.

Group Support & On-going Training:

Community Support:

One-on-one support:

What Does the Job Entail?

Day to Day Responsibilities: Working in child welfare is incredibly challenging and even more rewarding. Children and families involved in the child welfare system face a myriad of challenges. To succeed in this work, you will need to be flexible, patient, focused and adaptable to constantly changing circumstances. You must be willing to do whatever it takes to advocate for the children and families that you work with. You will be challenged in ways that you have never experienced before—but the impact that you can make is beyond measure.

No day working in child welfare is the same and for that reason you will constantly be learning, developing new skills and growing professionally. Child welfare work involves assessing family needs, coordinating services, and collaborating with multiple agency parties and systems. Your primary responsibilities may include:

To get a realistic illustration of the work, read through the Children’s Corps blog and browse this Realistic Job Preview.

What happens after Children's Corps?

After the Corps: As a Corps member and alum, your impact extends far beyond two years. Alumni who choose to stay at their agencies beyond the two years continue to impact practice on the frontline and many have been promoted to senior positions. Others work to address the challenges faced by children and families from a diverse range of career sectors, including but not limited to: policy, legal, clinical practice, social entrepreneurship, agency administration, and academia. Whether your long-term career goals are in child welfare or another related field, your experience in Children's Corps will deepen your passion and commitment to children and families and expand your career opportunities. The program seeks individuals who aspire to become the next generation of leaders and innovators.

As a Children’s Corps alum, you are part of a network of like-minded individuals who support each other personally and professionally in a range of endeavors and are instrumental in helping to coach and support the new crop of Children’s Corps workers. The Children’s Corps program hosts regular events for alumni to remain connected to each other and to the program.

Alumni Snapshot – Where are they now?