Working to transform the child welfare system.

Student Spotlight: Claire Phillips

Claire was born and raised in San Luis Obispo, CA. She received her bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly SLO), where she majored in English, minored in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies, and received a certificate in Technical and Professional Communication. She was the first person to move out of state when she came to Washington, as five generations of her family have lived in San Luis Obispo. Her previous roles have included being the volunteer coordinator at her local Habitat for Humanity, an AmeriCorps member at the City of Bellevue Office of Emergency Management, and the communications research assistant at the Technology and Social Change Group (TASCHA) at UW. 

Claire has been a part of P4C as an MSW Intern working on state legislative policy since November 2021. She is a dual-degree student, pursuing a Master’s degree in the School of Social Work, specializing in Administration and Policy Practice, and in the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, where she’s earning her Master’s of Public Administration. Her current work during the legislative session surrounds tracking bills as they make their way through the WA legislature, researching issues related to child welfare, and writing briefing papers on her findings. She was drawn to P4C because she wanted to work in a policy area that would allow her to advocate for child welfare, behavioral health, and housing issues. She appreciates that the organization operates in multiple policy and research areas. 

Regarding her experience at P4C, Claire has valued seeing the bills that P4C supports go on to the next stage of the legislative process. “It was an exciting moment to see HB 1747 pass unanimously out of the House!” Claire hopes to work in the local government or nonprofit realm on human services projects and policies. She is especially interested in the field of intimate partner violence prevention and hopes to make some positive change in that area in the future. Since starting at P4C, she believes that her career has grown because of all the connections that P4C has provided. “P4C is involved in so many coalitions of policy advocates, so I’m able to get exposed to many new people and ideas.” In her spare time, Claire loves to read, play the marimba, bake, hike, and study foreign languages, such as Russian, German, French, and Tagalog.