Social work is a rewarding and challenging field that aims to improve the well-being of individuals, groups, and communities. Social workers provide various services, such as counseling, advocacy, case management, crisis intervention, and community development.
Social work internships can help students who are interested in this field to develop their professional skills, learn from experienced mentors, and make a positive impact. Moreover, some social work internships are paid, which can help students earn money and support their education.
In this article, we will present the top 15 paid social work internships that students can apply for. These internships are offered by reputable organizations and institutions in different sectors and locations around the world.
#1 Community Healthlink Geriatric TeXm Paid
Community Healthlink (CHL) is a nonprofit organization that provides comprehensive behavioral health, addiction, and homeless services to adults, children, and families. The internship is based in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA, and is part of the Community Healthlink Geriatric Team that provides consultation, assessment and direct services to older adults with emotional, behavioral and late-life problems. Interns will work for part-time (20 hrs/wk), and receive a competitive pay.
Eligibility: Applicants must be in a Master’s or Doctoral level program in Mental Health Counseling, Social Work or related program; have ability to perform diagnostic and risk assessments using current accepted tools and best practices to determine appropriate level of care; have ability to develop and implement treatment plans which are behaviorally oriented, measurable, and appropriate for the identified level of care. Applicants must also be bilingual (Spanish) and willing to work with older adults whose primary language is Spanish.
#2 College Intern- Public Outreach (Community Relations) Internship
OCTA, the Orange County Transportation Authority is a public agency that provides transportation services and solutions for the county. Interns will work under the guidance of a transportation professional and learn how to assist department staff with educating, informing, and building consensus through community outreach activities and tactics, provide logistical support for events and community meetings, and communicate effectively with clients, staff, and community providers. Interns will receive $18.00 – $21.00 per hour depending on their education level.
Eligibility: Applicants must be full-time college students enrolled in a two-year or four-year college program and following a course of study leading to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, with an emphasis in Communications, Public Relations or related major; have a minimum GPA of 2.5; have working knowledge of social media/digital platforms (beyond personal use); have basic principles and practices in their field of specialization; acquire increasingly complex and technical knowledge and skills; assume progressively responsible duties.
#3 University Of Arkansas System Psychiatric Research Institute Social Work Internship
The Psychiatric Research Institute (PRI) is a research and treatment center that provides comprehensive and innovative mental health services for adults, adolescents, and children. The internship is based in Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, and is part of the PRI Behavioral Health Services Department which collaborates with other UAMS departments and community organizations to provide effective and efficient service delivery and resource development. Interns will work for 10-12 months and receive a pay of $15.00 hourly.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in social work or related field; be enrolled in an accredited university working toward a master’s in social work; have one (1) or more years of experience working in a behavioral health setting (preferred). Applicants must also be able to provide indirect and direct services to patients and their families, such as patient and family phone calls, diagnostic assessment, individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, collateral intervention, crisis intervention, documentation in the clinical record, staff meetings, administrative tasks, training, and other duties assigned.
#4 Jersey Innovative Services Behavioral Assistant Internship
Jersey Innovative Services is a provider of clinical support services for children and families with mental health needs. The internship is looking for students who are interested in making a difference in the life of a child, helping mold a youth, and supporting the mission to strengthen the community. Interns will learn about finding resources, building linkages, clinical support, treatment plans, team approach, funding/grant writing, and advocacy. Interns will receive $25 per hour plus travel stipends.
Eligibility: Applicants must be currently enrolled in a college program related to social work, psychology, education, or human services; be willing to start at their own pace and attend site training, webinars, and shadowing opportunities before seeing children; have a passion for working with children ages 3 to 21 years old who have moderate to high-level mental health needs; have excellent communication and interpersonal skills; have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
#5 Centerpoint Counseling Services Mental Health Counselor Internship
Centerpoint Counseling Services is a mental health agency that provides outpatient therapy for individuals with mental or emotional issues. The internship is based in Idaho, USA, and is part of the Centerpoint Counseling Services Team that helps individuals heal, find meaning, overcome challenges, and thrive. Interns will work full-time or part-time and receive a pay of $35-$40 per billable hour or salary.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a minimum of a master’s degree and an Idaho clinical license as a Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist, or Professional Counselor; have previous experience in mental health counseling or other related fields; have excellent written and verbal communications skills; have ability to build rapport with clients; have computer and EMR proficiency.
#6 Centerstone Registered Intern
Centerstone is a nonprofit behavioral health system that provides care that changes people’s lives. Interns will work under the supervision of a licensed professional and learn how to complete assessments and treatment plans, make referrals and coordinate discharge planning, and use empirically based modalities to engage and manage their mental health or substance abuse diagnosis. Interns will receive a competitive salary of $17.49–$21.81.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a master’s degree in mental health counseling, social work, marriage and family therapy, or a related field; be eligible to act as registered interns under the guidelines of the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling; have competent clinical skills, clear communication skills and knowledge of community resources; have the ability to formulate and implement solution-focused treatment plans; be self-directed and organized; be able to perform entry-level professional work; acquire increasingly complex and technical knowledge and skills; assume progressively responsible duties.
#7 CoreCivic Treatment Counselor, Community Corrections (Substance Abuse) Internship
CoreCivic is a leading provider of corrections and detention management and community corrections services to federal, state, and local government agencies. The internship is based in various locations across the United States and is part of the CoreCivic treatment team that provides evidence-based programs to address the needs of offenders, as well as reduce recidivism and enhance public safety. Interns will receive $19.50 per hour.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Counseling, Social Work, or a closely related field; have one (1) year of experience in the mental health or substance use counseling field (preferred); have an LCDC Intern license; and have a valid driver’s license.
#8 El Camino Health BHS Internship
El Camino Health is a nonprofit organization with hospital campuses. The internship is based in Los Gatos, California, and is part of the El Camino Health Behavioral Health Services (BHS) – Aspire Program, a program that provides high-quality acute mental health services to patients and their family members. Interns will work under the supervision of a licensed therapist and will be involved in treating the presenting illness and returning the patient to a previous or higher level of functioning within the community. Interns will receive $32.00 per hour.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a Master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy, Masters in Social Work, Psychology Intern, or Professional Clinical Counselor; have current registration in State of CA as Marriage & Family Therapy Intern, Associate Social Worker, Psychology intern who is eligible for registration as a psychology assistant, or Professional Clinical Counselor intern; and have clinical experience, including experience in: inpatient psychiatry, cognitive therapy, DBT, group therapy, individual therapy, couples therapy, family therapy, and short-term treatment.
#9 Denver Human Services Social Services & Special Programs Internship
Denver Human Services is a department of the City and County of Denver that provides assistance benefits and protection and prevention services to one in three Denver residents. The internship is based in Denver, Colorado, and is part of the Resource Engagement & Prevention division, a division that provides emergent need services and prevention programs to individuals and families in need. Interns will work for 10-20 hours a week for 9 to 12 months and receive $18.84 – $21.21 per hour.
Eligibility: Applicants must be currently enrolled in or recently graduated from an accredited college program leading to a certificate, licensure, associates, bachelor’s, or higher degree in Social Work, Human Services, Social Sciences or a related field; have interest in supporting individuals and families in emergent need services; be able to commit at least 10-20 hours a week for 9 to 12 months; have excellent interpersonal, communication, customer service, teamwork, and time management skills; and have bilingual skills (preferred but not required).
#10 Odyssey House Mental Health Internship Odyssey House Mental Health Internship
Odyssey House is a nonprofit organization that provides effective substance use treatment, prevention, and mental health services to individuals and families in Utah. Interns will perform various duties such as: diagnosing mental health and substance-related conditions using the DSM V; assessing client needs using the American Society of Addiction Medicine Patient Placement Criteria; documenting and reporting all services and incidents; coordinating client psychiatric evaluations and other wrap-around services; and other duties as assigned. Interns will receive $13.00 per hour if they are second-year interns. First-year interns are unpaid but will be given priority selection for paid second-year internship positions.
Eligibility: Applicants must be working toward a Master’s degree in social work, mental health counseling, or marriage and family therapy; be in the first or second year of an accredited master’s level mental health program; pass a criminal background check if working with children or vulnerable adult populations; have reliability to fill their support staff shifts and deliver on position responsibilities; have self-starter qualities to independently address issues and needs in the organization’s community; and have teachable attitude to learn and grow in their position.
#11 University of Wyoming Social Work Office Aide Internship
The University of Wyoming is a division that provides a professional curriculum on both the Laramie and Casper campuses and engages in community outreach to support human service agency work throughout the state of Wyoming. Interns will perform various duties such as: answering phones, greeting visitors, filing, copying, scanning, shredding, mailing, data entry, inventory, event planning, research support, and other duties as assigned. Interns will receive $10.00 per hour.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a high school diploma; be eligible, have received and accepted work study award through Student Financial Aid for the applicable semester and/or academic year; have strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office applications; have excellent customer service, communication, organizational, and time management skills; have ability to work effectively without immediate supervision; have ability to learn new computer software programs; have ability to recognize and protect confidential information; and have ethical and legal accountability for the position.
#12 Legacy Behavioral Health Services APEX Therapist Internship
Legacy Behavioral Health Services is a provider of support within 10 counties in South GA, that believes that through individualized care, quality of care and support, your life could be transformed. Interns will work as part of the Apex Program team that works closely with school counselors, social workers, teachers, and administration staff to wrap around the student to help them succeed, as well as with the Legacy clinic staff to have appointments scheduled with both the nurse and doctor and provide this information to the families and schools as needed. Interns will work for 600 hours and receive a paid compensation.
Eligibility: Applicants must be current graduate students pursuing a qualifying master’s degree in MFT, Psychology, or Social Work; be willing to complete a service agreement after graduation; be dedicated to quality work; be self-starters and goal orientated; have excellent problem-solving and interpersonal skills; have computer experience. Applicants should also provide proof of enrollment and degree.
#13 WWAARC Human Services Internship
WWAARC is a nonprofit organization that provides services and supports to individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in New York. Interns will work as part of a team under the direct supervision of fully qualified staff and will only have supervised and restricted access to the people WWAARC supports. Interns will work for various shifts depending on program needs and are expected to be available to work during school breaks and/or holidays. Interns will receive extensive paid training.
Eligibility: Applicants must be high school graduates who are 16/17 years old or current high school students who are 16/17/18 years old; have experience or interest in working with people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities; have effective communication skills; have basic computer skills; have NYS working papers for 16/17 years old; be able to successfully complete all pre-screening and training requirements required by regulation.
#14 Peninsula Open Space Trust Community Engagement Internship
Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) is a nonprofit organization that protects and cares for open space, farms, and parkland in and around Silicon Valley. Interns will perform various duties such as: researching projects, database work in Salesforce, helping with event planning and execution, improving and updating event templates and descriptions, developing content for the volunteer community, fielding incoming general questions from the community and event guests, and other projects as needed. Interns will report to the Director of Community Engagement. Interns will receive $20.00 per hour.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a flexible schedule (16-32 hours a week); have an interest in and love of the outdoors and nature; have good computer skills and a willingness to learn other cloud-based systems like databases, project management, digital asset management, web content, and others; have excellent organizational skills and attention to detail; have great interpersonal skills and a love of teamwork and working with people; and have strong written and verbal communication skills.
#15 Affinity Family Counseling Spanish Bilingual Mental Health Therapist Internship
Affinity Family Counseling is a new practice that offers mental health counseling to a variety of populations. Interns will perform clinical assessments, develop crisis and treatment plans based on the assessment, participate actively in weekly clinical supervision with the supervising therapist, complete case documentation and all required reports in the appropriate format and in a timely manner, comply with codes of professional ethics and agency policies, procedures and code of conduct. Interns will work part-time (minimum 10 client hours a week), in person and hybrid options available, and receive a pay of $30.00 per hour.
Eligibility: Applicants must be enrolled in an accredited master’s degree Program for Counseling, Social Work, or Marriage and Family Therapy; be fluent in Spanish; have ability to perform clinical assessments, develop crisis and treatment plans, participate in weekly clinical supervision, complete case documentation and reports, comply with codes of professional ethics and agency policies, procedures and code of conduct.
Social work internships are a valuable opportunity for students who want to gain hands-on experience, network with colleagues, and discover their career path. There are many paid social work internships available for students who want to challenge themselves and make a difference.
To find and secure a social work internship, you need to have a strong resume and a confident interview. You also need to be proactive, flexible, and enthusiastic about the opportunity. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of landing one of the top 15 paid social work internships and kickstart your career in social work.