Strong Foundations welcomes student interns who are interested in getting active experience working with young children (ages 6 weeks to five years old). Strong Foundations is part of Homeward Bound, Arizona’s largest private, non-profit provider of transitional housing for families impacted by domestic violence and/or homelessness. Student internships are conducted at the learning center, where students can gain direct experience working with young children who have experienced trauma, including family/ caregiver violence, neglect, prenatal drug exposure, homelessness, and multiple transitions. Student interns work in the learning center’s classrooms under the guidance of Strong Foundations teachers and management staff.
Homeward Bound provides housing, case management, and supportive services, with a residential campus of 80 apartment units for single mothers and their children. In addition, Homeward Bound has 72 scattered-site properties located throughout Phoenix and the Valley for two-parent families and single fathers raising their children. Homeward Bound clients are given training and support that includes financial basics and budgeting, parenting skills, and home maintenance.
Strong Foundations maintains a flexible approach with interns, and students are encouraged to consider their own particular interests within their fields of study when beginning their internship. Students may choose to work with a particular age group of children for the entire semester, or students may spend time in different classrooms if they would like to experience a wider variety of ages and developmental stages. Students may choose to focus on a particular child as a case study, or conduct more generalized observations and interactions with groups of children. Expectations of interns while at Strong Foundations include the following:
Observe and interact appropriately with children
Follow all Strong Foundations policies and philosophies, as outlined in the Volunteer Handbook
Take guidance from Strong Foundations staff as needed regarding adult-child interactions, safety policies, licensing procedures, and social-emotional development of children
Maintain regular communication with the Director of Children’s Services regarding student’s schedules at Strong Foundations, as well as any questions/ concerns the student may have
Students are never to be left alone with children, nor are they ever expected to supervise children
Students must provide a completed volunteer application, fingerprint clearance card, background checks, negative TB skin test, and 2 references in order to be an intern or community volunteer at Homeward Bound. These items must be completed and submitted before the first day of the internship.
The primary contact person and internship supervisor is Patsy Rethore-Larson, M.Ed., Director of Children’s Services. Patsy can be contacted via phone or e-mail: