Social Work Internships – An Overview

Social work internships open a variety of opportunities for students to work in hospitals, schools, public social service agencies, child welfare and family services, corrections and paroles, and NGO’s. Social workers help people overcome some of life’s challenges.

There are two main types of social workers

  • Direct-Service Social Workers: provide guidance and counseling to help people deal with life’s daily problems.
  • Clinical Social Workers: diagnose and provide treatment to people with mental, emotional and behavioral challenges.

Major Provider of Social Work Internships

U. S. Department Of Health and Human Services

Social work internships opportunities may be offered by hospitals, schools, public social agencies and many more. However, established organizations are still of a good choice. One of these organizations is the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

HHS is a department of the U.S. Federal Government that seeks to protect Americans’ health and provides essential human services. The department covers more than 300 programs that are directed by 11 divisions. These programs render just treatments of beneficiaries and enable the collection of national health and other data. Whatever area you would like to do social work internships in (e.g., family and children services, health services, etc.), chances are HHS offers it.

U.S Department of Health & Human Services Internship Benefits

Social work internships with the US Department of Health & Human Services give students a chance to be exposed to jobs in federal civil service. This gives interns a chance to receive meaningful experience while in school. Social work internships at HHS are offered through out the academic year, during fall or spring and during summer. Summer interns are required to work from Monday to Friday while the length of summer service depends on the program. Fall or spring interns are required to work at least two days a week. Social work internships at HHS provide students with both volunteer (unpaid) or paid positions. Students with favorable performance have a chance to be promoted and receive higher pay.

Examples of HHS social work internships:

  • Civil Rights Division: Student interns will be monitored and guided by the Deputy Director and a senior analyst to support policy development, interpretation and dissemination work of the Division.
  • Pre-Grant Office – Civil Rights Division: Training for student interns will be given in conducting pre-grant reviews on health care facilities, contacting, providing assistance in drafting policy documents, communicate with persons with limited English proficiency, grievance procedures, required public notices and more.
  • Health Information Privacy Division: Interns engage in research, preparation, and drafting of documents, office staff, internal office memoranda, Privacy Rule findings, and negotiation, enforcement, and litigation strategies.

Through these benefits, interns are expected to widen theirs skill and knowledge related to global, international and social health and policy.

Other HHS Student Social Work Internship Programs

Another student social work internship program at HHS is the Students Training to Acquire Real-life Skills (S.T.A.R.S) Program which is available to students of all levels ranging from high school to advance degrees. The program comprises of three components:

  • Student Temporary Employment Program: Interns are given temporary employment that last as long as you are still a student.
  • Student Career Experience Program: Interns’ experiences are directly related to their field. They are entitled with a full range of benefits, periods of work and study while attending school and a permanent employment after successfully meeting all the requirements.
  • Student Volunteers:  Student volunteers will be exposed to Federal work environment and learn the missions and responsibilities of Federal agencies and departments.

HHS is a prime agency of the government in protecting health of Americans therefore working here requires a great sense of responsibility. So if you are a student that’s looking for a challenge and dedicated to promoting America’s well-being then HHS social work internships are perfect for you.