What Types of Social Work Internships are Available?

Social Work InternshipsThough not all social work programs require that students complete an internships, students enrolled in those that do often want to know more about the types of social work internships available. Social workers often look out for the best interests of others and provide support to families and individuals who need help and assistance. Doing an internship allows students to see what it’s like working with real clients and to get a feel for what life on the job is like. Social work students can do internships in several different areas.

Clinical Internships

The most popular of all the types of social work internships available are those that involve clinical work because these positions often pay the highest after graduation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage of clinical social workers is just over $44,000 a year, and the BLS also estimates a 19% growth in the future for this field. Clinical social workers work with clients in clinical settings. While they often assist them with making important decisions and assisting them in other ways, they also provide many of the same functions as a psychologist does.

School Social Work

Though many think that social workers often help children of abuse, they can also work in schools as school social workers. Though not all schools have a social worker on staff, many larger schools in larger cities do. School social workers may also work in one district and travel to several different schools as needed. They help children talk about the issues they deal with, including pressure from their peers, bullying and problems at home. Interns work under the supervision of a licensed social worker in a school setting.

Child Abuse Work

Students may also find themselves applying for child abuse internships and working for government and public organizations or agencies. Victims of childhood abuse seldom talk about the abuse they suffer because that abuser is a family member or close friend. Social work interns will talk with kids and help them speak up about the abuse they face. Interns will also learn how social workers learn to identify the signs of abuse, how they act around families and victims and what they do to protect those victims, including how they fill out reports and what happens if the case goes before a judge.

Substance Abuse Internships

Another of the popular types of social work internships available are those that take place in substance abuse centers. These centers offer treatment and counseling to people addicted to illegal drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol and some emotional addictions, including sex addiction and gambling addiction. Students may work with licensed social workers to determine the type of help patients need at home, including transportation to addiction classes or delivery of meals and food. Students will usually only watch licensed workers in action and perform general work around the treatment facility until they gain some additional experience and can handle working around the addicts.

Related Resource: School Guidance Counselor

Most states require that social workers have a license before working in the field, and workers need some practical experience before applying for a license. Completing one of the more common types of social work internships available, including those in substance abuse, child abuse, school social work or clinical settings, gives them some of that necessary experience.