Caribbean Internship Project


The Caribbean Internship Project (CIP) involves the collaboration of the three campuses of the University of the West CIP Cave Hill TeamIndies (UWI) in assignment of interns to social service agencies in the Caribbean. The CIP commenced as a partnership between the Centre for Population, Community and Social Change (CPCSC), an outreach initiative of the Department of Sociology, Psychology and Social Work, Mona and the Caribbean Child Support Initiative (CCSI), an integrated programme out of CARICAD (Caribbean Centre for Development Administration) Barbados, established in 2004 to improve the care environment for Caribbean children and their families.

The CIP, which is coordinated and managed by Mrs. Aldene Shillingford, lecturer in the Social Work Unit, matches the resources of the UWI to the needs of child-focused development agencies in the Caribbean, through the provision of studCIP Intern in Actionent interns for 12- 24 week internships. She is assisted by Ms. Jennifer Pollard, Office of Student Services Cave Hill and Mrs. Deborah Charles-Smythe, Graduate Studies and Research St. Augustine in the selection, recruitment and orientation of interns to be 

The CIP is principally funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation and the UWI Mona, St. Augustine and Cave Hill campuses, the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica also provided sponsorship of internships in the early years.assigned. The University of Guyana and the 

University of Belize also participated in the assignment of interns in the past.

Student interns have worked with a range of organisations and social services which implement programmes cited as Caribbean best practices and these include: the Roving Caregivers Programme, (RCP), The Family Learning Project (FLP), the Early Childhood Health Outreach project (ECHO), the Regional Radio Project (RRP), the Story Telling for Early Childhood Parenting Support (STEPS), The Learning Community Research Project and the Revision of the Pathways to Parenting Manual.

They have been able to enhance the service delivery of these agencies, build and strengthen their capacity through the transfer of knowledge and skills, and improve the linkages between families and these community based social services. Students have also benefited tremendously from the practical learning opportunities and in some instances, accreditation towards their degree programmes.

During this past year, 22 students from the following disciplines of Psychology, Social Work, Media and Communication,CIP Intern with St.Augustine CIP Coordinating Team Education and Integrated Studies completed 12 to 24-week internships across the region and to date over 200 interns from across the wider Caribbean have been placed on the CIP The CIP has created a new vision for its future work and is stated as a regional community-based model serving human development goals with a substantial ECD component.


  • To match the resources of the UWI to the needs of social agencies with relevant mandates, capacity and services delivered to parents and children.
  • To provide learning and practice opportunities for Caribbean students and new graduates
  • To improve the capacity of local family and child-focused agencies through training to improve competency in the delivery of services offered

The potential overall benefits of the proposed Caribbean Student Internship Project include:

  • Assisting regional development in a cost effective way by utilizing the concept of student internship which places students from the UWI in social service agencies in the region
  • Implementing and assisting the implementation of strategies articulated by the CCSI to benefit parenting and early childhood development. Included are the use of storytelling, the replication of the Roving Caregivers project and research etc.
  • Assisting those regional territories, which do not have the benefit of student-placements, Four Interns in St. Vincent and the Grenadinesin the delivery of social services
  • Capacity building of local organizations
  • Enhanced student learning of theories and practice skills
  • Creating Caribbean integration through new experiences for students not otherwise exposed to the way of life and culture of their Caribbean counterparts
  • Research and documentation of behavioural patterns to enable the design of relevant intervention strategies and to enable and empower individual and community action
  • Research and documentation of practices and strategies utilized to identify best practices
  • Informing Policy direction through research, presentation of papers at conferences and the involvement of regional governments in the work of the CSI.


To date the main funders of the project are the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) which is an international, philanthropic and professional institution based in the Netherlands, which partners with child-focused agencies world-wide in the enhancement of opportunities for children from birth to eight years old, who are growing up in circumstances of social and economic disadvantage. The BvLF has provides overall funds to cover administrative, developmental and some personnel needs of the project. The UWI three campuses ( Mona, St Augustine and Cave Hill)and government entities in the region. The CIP isIntern in St. Vincent and the Grenadines considered a partnership between the Interns and Sponsor. The UWI Mona confirmed its commitment to the sustainability of CIP in the efforts of its Principal to gain sponsorship for the CIP over 2006 and 2007. In 2009, the St. Augustine campus demonstrated its support by sponsoring interns over the next 2 years and Cave Hill campus has indicated similar support. This is an indication that the UWI recognizes the far-reaching potential of such a project in benefiting both student learning and the development of Caribbean societies. Sponsorship has facilitated support for the personnel/administrative functions of the CIP and internship opportunities for students and graduates.

There continues to be two glimmers of hope which currently need to be firmly rationalized and grasped as the CIP seeks to reorganize for maintaining sustainability. The first is the operationalisation of the UWI’s 5 year strategic plan, 2007-2011, calls for a reform of the teaching and learning process that will produce well-rounded graduates who are ready to face challenges of work in a globalised world. The second is the significant attention now being given by the UWI in fulfilling its role as a regional institution and its desire to be at the vanguard of regional integration. The challenge nowMrs. Shillingford, Wendy McLean and visiting UConn Faculty is for the leadership of the CIP to more clearly identify and establish what is its core product in relation to these two core strategic thrusts of the UWI and to develop a marketing strategy that will not only attract the UWI and other partners because of what it is seeking to achieve- graduates as work ready, lifelong learners; capacity building of agencies and communities; and ultimately as a major plank in the realization of Caribbean re-regionalisation and integration but to demonstrate in practical terms how such product outcomes will be achieved. The current partnership between the CCSI/CIP and the Roving Caregivers Programme provides the foundation on which this action model can be built.


For additional information on the programmes associated with the Caribbean Internship Programme

Foundation for the Development oof Caribbean Children (FDCC) formerly Caribbean Child Support Initiative (CCSI)

Centre for Adolescent Renewal and Education (CARE), St. Lucia

Case Study of the CIP 2012


Project Coordination

Mrs. Aldene Shillingford
Project Coordinator
Tel: (876) 970-4336, 970-1284
Fax: (876) 977-9301


Project Assistant

Ms. Tameka Claudius