ECFA will offer a limited number of internships to students who are in a Bachelor’s or Master’s level program in Social Work.

ECFA’s Safe Families for Children program is designed to provide a safe, nurturing environment for children whose parents are going through a short-term crisis. Families receiving support through the program reside within DuPage County. ECFA recruits host families, informs the community about the program, facilitates placements, provides support and referrals for services to the biological parents, and provides support and resources to the Host Families caring for the children.

An internship in the Safe Families program is designed to expose students to families who are in a crisis and to help them learn case management skills involved in ensuring the safety of the children.

The objectives of the internship program are:

  • To learn how private agencies, DCFS, and community providers collaborate to provide a safe and nurturing environment for children when their parents face a crisis.
  • To aid students in learning how to work with individuals, families, as well as communities and organizations.
  • To learn a variety of roles such as group facilitator, case manager, collaborator, and recruiter.
  • To assist students to learn how to help parents during a crisis, to learn how to identify underlying issues, and how to assess needs, and make appropriate referrals to meet those needs.
  • To increase the interns’ knowledge of prevention services and the benefit of prevention as it relates to the greater Child Welfare system.
  • To help students learn how to appropriately use supervision.
  • Interns will accomplish the above objectives through the following means:
  • Meet weekly with the intern supervisor.
  • Read through and discuss with the supervisor various manuals/procedures used by the program.
  • Learn how to function as a Case Coach for Host Families and conduct the various tasks of a Case Coach: conduct home visits, provide support to the Host Family, facilitate visits between the biological parents and the children, and document contact with the Host Family, children, and biological parent.
  • Learn how to function as a Family Friend for birth parents and conduct the various tasks of a Family Friend: Help parents establish a goal to accomplish while their children are with a Host Family, meet with the biological parents to provide support and to monitor their progress toward their goal, make appropriate referrals and help facilitate the parent’s engagement in the service, and document contact with the biological parent and service providers.
  • Learn how to recruit Host Families.
  • Meet with community partners to learn how to collaborate for the benefit of children and families.
  • Learn how to conduct monthly support groups for Host Families.
  • Attend Safe Families team meetings and at last one agency-wide staff meeting.
  • Learn appropriate and necessary case management skills which benefit children and families involved in the program.

If you are interested in a Safe Families for Children internship, please contact Carlie Herich, Safe Families Hub Manager, at