Background: Founded in 1933, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is a leading non-sectarian, voluntary organization providing relief, protection, and resettlement services for refugees and victims of oppression or violent conflict. The Suburban Washington Refugee Center, where the IRC’s Silver Spring resettlement office is located, has resettled more than 2,000 new refugee arrivals, providing them a fresh start and opportunities to use their greatest resources—their motivation, their skills and their experiences—to become independent and self-sufficient new Americans. Currently, the IRC Silver Spring resettles and/or provides assistance to over 700 refugees and asylees each year.
Scope of work: The Reception and Placement Program staff is the first point of contact for newly-arrived refugees. Case Workers provide initial services to orient refugees to life in the US. These services include securing housing, addressing medical concerns, registering children in school, applying for Social Security cards and State IDs, and linking clients to our internal and mainstream services. The intern will assist the case work staff in providing IRC clients with all initial services in the resettlement process. Additionally, the intern will work closely with team education coordinators to assist in providing IRC clients with appropriate education services.
- Assist Case Workers in managing clients’ cases and maintaining case files.
- Orient new clients on methods of public transportation.
- Assist clients with applications for Social Security cards and State IDs.
- Accompany clients to various appointments including but not limited to: medical appointments, school enrollments, immunization appointments, ESL class enrollments.
- Network with Montgomery and Prince George’s county schools, local universities and college, GED and ESL providers, and Head Start programs.
- Monitor and evaluate current ESL programs and client attendance.
- Assist case workers in outreach to local education services and providers.
- Assist clients to enroll in schools and to purchase uniforms.
- Assist case work staff to acquire school supplies and uniform donations.
- Assist with other duties as assigned.
- Intern will gain US field-office experience interacting with and assisting asylees and refugees recently resettled in the US.
- Intern will acquire detailed knowledge of programs (e.g. Matching Grant, Public/Private Partnership, etc) and public benefits available for refugees and asylees in the state of Maryland.
- Intern will learn reporting requirements for resettlement agencies and how to capture data to improve services.
- Intern will gain exposure to case work in the resettlement field with a focus on education.
- Current undergraduate, graduate student, or less than 12 months out of school.*
- Ability to work independently and under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
- Organized with attention to detail.
- Creativity and initiative to follow through on projects.
- Excellent communication and writing skills.
- Interest in education and program development.
- Interest in international and refugee issues.
- Interest in working in a multi-cultural setting.
- Willingness to use public transportation with clients in order to orient clients to buses, etc.
- Fluency in one of the following languages is highly desirable: French, Arabic, Amharic, Burmese, Nepali, Swahili, Farsi or Tigrinya.
- A car or access to a car is highly desirable.
- Minimum 15-35 hour per week commitment for a period of 3 months.
This position is for the spring of 2017 and requires a minimum commitment of 3 months. The deadline to apply is January 15th, 2017. Please submit a resume, cover letter, and list of references with your application. Please include your availability in your cover letter.
Note: This is an unpaid internship; school credit may be received depending on your program and institution.
*Candidates applying not currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, or not within 12 months of graduation will be processed as volunteers.
To protect our clients, the IRC requires all selected applicants to complete background checks. We ask that you make a $40 donation to help us cover the associated costs. Currently, 92% of our funding goes directly to programming to support our clients, and your help to cover this cost will ensure that no funding is directed away from serving our clients. Instructions will be provided after you have been selected to intern or volunteer.