Allie VanBenschoten - Family Justice Center Intern
“In the mornings, I shadowed an advocate with five-day call out, which is when we call people to let them know that they have a protection order hearing coming up. We also did outreach call of domestic violence police reports. We make these calls only knowing their name and number. The purpose of these calls is to connect with survivors of intimate partner violence and discuss safety and provide information on resources in the area. It’s to let survivors know that they have support. I am also working on a project regarding Housing First. I am researching Housing First best practices when working with intimate partner violence and human trafficking victims/survivors. Traditionally agencies step in when a person is experiencing homelessness, whereas Housing First can be both preventive or provide support if some is experiencing homelessness. Hopefully, my work will help shape the center to have a more Housing First approach. In the afternoons, I go to Protection Order Court and stand with petitioners (people who have filed for a protection order). I am there to provide them information about the center, safety planning, and moral support. My day-to-day really varies with this internship.”
Why intern for Pierce County?
“I chose Pierce County and the FJC because it was going to provide an opportunity for me to apply what I have been learning in school. The Pierce County Internship Program gives you a unique opportunity for you to see multiple perspectives of the county. The internship program takes you to other places and departments to see everything comes together. You’re not isolated or in your own bubble here.”
“Definitely go shopping for professional clothing before starting. Research the department you are applying for beforehand. Learn about the team dynamic and expectations, when in the office and when representing your department/ agency in the community.”
Fun fact about yourself:
“I enjoy many aspects of crafting. I have crocheted three full-size blankets, and I am working on a fourth.”