Skip to Main Content




"During my second year Field Placement for my Master's of Social Work program at the University of Tennessee, I had the opportunity to intern with the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth for two semesters. My primary focus was working with the Director of Child Well-Being in the agency's efforts to prevent Adverse Childhood Experiences and promote safe, stable, nurturing environments for children across the state through training, public awareness, and advocacy. One of my favorite things about my experience was that, because TCCY is involved in systems improvement in collaboration with a wide range of public and private agencies across Tennessee, I had the flexibility to participate in and contribute to many different kinds of projects based on my interests. For example, I had the opportunity to help develop and update statewide trainings for Building Strong Brains Tennessee; write legislative guidance on a Juvenile Justice Bill and other bills affecting children and families; edit and draft policy briefs on key issues including the impact of Preschool Suspension and Social Emotional Learning initiatives in schools; and help administrate an online platform for sharing information and trauma-informed best practices across the state. I was also able to learn from and make connections with professionals in a range of other organizations, including the Tennessee and Metro Departments of Health, Tennessee Legislature, Department of Children's Services, and many local and state-level social services and child advocacy agencies. Overall, the highlight of my experience and the reason I would most highly recommend an internship with TCCY is the high quality supervision I received from my Field Instructor. She created a safe learning environment based on mutual trust and respect in which it was possible for me to take risks, push beyond my limits, and grow tremendously as a social worker." - Caitlin McCollister


"Throughout my time at TCCY I was able to participate in a variety of projects. I was encouraged to follow my interests and felt supported along the way. My input was valued and I felt they trusted me and the work I was doing. That level of trust and responsibility was significant for my internship experience and provided me with hands-on learning opportunities. I was able to assist in the development of the Second Look Commission report, observe and participate in the legislative process, and help plan Children’s Advocacy Days. My experience as an intern prepared me for a career in advocacy, I have since joined the TCCY team as the communications and policy specialist and continue to build on the work I began as an intern." - Kylie Burns