Refugee Transitional Foster Care Language Development Program

Basic information

  • Organization: Bethany Christian Services
  • Department(s):
  • Duration: Fall 2019, Winter/Spring/Summer 2020
  • Paid? No

Semester or year-round opportunity to assist with English language skills development and client care, mentorship, and assessment.

Semester or year-round opportunity to assist with English language skills development and client care, mentorship, and assessment.  Bethany Christian Services has an onsite school that offers educational programming for immigrant youth who are recent arrivals to the United States from Central America. These youth are in a transitional foster care program receiving various services while in pursuit of family reunification. We are seeking an intern to coordinate and implement English language skills activities and aid with general classroom duties.  Other projects may be available depending on student’s interest and skills. Internship requires 10-15 hours per week for 10-12 weeks each semester. This could be a year-round position, and the opportunity exists for career development. Work-Study pay is available for eligible students.


  1. Develop and implement succinct language lessons associated with the activities, homework, and outings in which the youth engage
  2. Plan specific lessons to teach language and cultural knowledge related to the skills the youth will need when they are discharged from the program. For example, lessons could include job interviews, purchasing a car, study habits, paying taxes, etc.
  3. Engage the youth in activities that would allow ample time for language practice
  4. Learn the basic policy related to refugee work and unaccompanied child immigration
  5. Encourage positive growth of residents through mentorship
  6. Meet with Lead Teacher (School Supervisor) on a weekly basis to discuss projects and progress


  1. Spanish minor or major and bilingual Spanish/English skills required
  2. Strong listening and relationship skills, with a history of treating people with dignity and respect
  3. Basic computer skills
  4. Commitment to mission and ministry of Bethany Christian Services
  5. Sensitivity to and understanding of cultural diversity
  6. Interest in social work, psychology, and/or education preferred
  7. Commitment to HIPAA and confidentiality agreement

About the Refugee Transitional Foster Care Programs at Bethany Christian Services:

We are a specialized program that offers programming to all youth under the age of 18 years. The teenage boys are placed in a residential program, while all other youth are placed in foster homes in greater Grand Rapids. This program is committed to helping these unaccompanied children adjust to a new culture and language while awaiting permanent placement, with the primary goal of family reunification here in the U.S. We provide assessment, education, cultural orientation to the United States, therapy, medical services and much more. Most of the youth are from Central America and most speak Spanish and/or indigenous languages and have minimal to no knowledge of the English language.

The transitional foster care programs are dedicated to the sanctuary model of care and committed to providing the highest quality of care and supervision to the youth being served. To assure that quality exists, the program only employs personnel with good moral character, emotional stability, and of sufficient health, ability, experience, and education to perform the duties assigned.


Ask Courtney Banks-Tatum about work-study eligibility.


Please send cover letter, resume, and three references to Jennifer Leon at

Questions / contact


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