Master of Social Work Internship Program | VA St. Louis Health Care

The mission of VA Social Workers is to help veterans, their families and caregivers solve social determinants of health (SDOH) challenges to health and well-being. Social work is embedded into the fabric of VA healthcare, providing clinical interventions and services throughout the VA continuum of care. Social work is an integral part of your overall VA care. Social workers are available to veterans and their families in a variety of settings, including the primary care clinic, during the hospital stay, emergency room visits, psychiatric and rehabilitation units, and when enrolling in specialty medical programs.

internship program

The MSW Concentration Internship at the VA St. Louis Health Care System is accredited by the Council on Higher Education and the US Department of Education. To be considered, students must demonstrate enrollment in an MSW program at a Council on Social Work Education accredited school and in their concentration internship.

Internships require the full fall-spring academic year. Internship schedules in these semesters typically require two and a half standard work days for a 20-hour week. Available tours are determined by Field Placement and Field Instructor. The schedule depends on the program the intern is assigned to. Weekend or evening hours are not currently available. Internal assignments are made by the VA staff and available Field Instructors for that academic year. Treatment settings and programs available for internships vary from year to year. Some potential offers are inpatient and outpatient internships in medical and mental health, some in hospitals and others in community clinics. Our medical internships include acute care, primary care, nephrology, inpatient and outpatient hospice/palliative care, and our skilled rehabilitation program. Mental health internship options include acute hospitalization, drug use, home treatment for drug use and homelessness, mental health therapy, and case management in our general outpatient and trauma recovery programs, suicide prevention, and homelessness programs. We also have the opportunity to do community and prison internships.

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Those selected to intern with the VA Social Work Service must meet several additional requirements, some of which are: provide additional agency documents, provide fingerprints to allow VA to conduct background checks, obtain physical and VA computer clearance, and agency identification. This list is not exhaustive, and several of these and other steps must be performed in the prescribed sequential order. This presupposes that the prospective intern can come to the VA for several hours on more than one appointment day during the summer months.

application process

Admission Requirements

Read Requirements – https://www.va.gov/oaa/hpt-eligibility.asp

The application period for internships in the academic year autumn 2023 to spring 2024 runs from January 17, 2023 to March 1, 2023.

Students may submit application materials to the VA Social Work Office by mail to 915 North Grand Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63106, or by email to Department Administrator Amelia Thomas @ [email protected] The VA Social Work Office can be reached at 314-289-6391.

Applications will only be accepted during this application period. Required application documents include program application, college transcripts, graduate school or professional writing sample [not to exceed 1-2 pages]and a letter of evaluation from a professor at the School of Social Work Graduate School.

Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be contacted by March 3, 2023 to let them know if they have been selected for an interview. Applicants selected for consideration will have an interview or series of interviews anticipated to take place on March 9, 2023 and March 10, 2023. Candidates will be notified by March 17, 2023 if accepted for an internship after a second interview with the assigned Field Instructor. These dates are forecast as of this time and are subject to change but are within this time frame.

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Applicants must submit all required materials and documents and meet required deadlines. If at any point during the process the applicant is no longer able to meet the requirements, they may be withdrawn from the examination.

Prospective interns are also required to be available for three days of agency and department induction, which is expected to take place Monday through Wednesday during the first or third week of August. The dates will be announced in spring 2023.

Timeline:

  • Application deadline: 1.3.23
  • Notification of the students about the interview: 3.3.23
  • Student interviews: 9.3.23
  • Student informed of offer/rejection after second interview with assigned field teacher: 03/17/23
  • Pre-Employment Checklist (fingerprints, physical exam, paperwork): May-August 2023
  • Orientation 1st or 3rd week of August
  • Start Date and Schedule Will be determined with your VA Field Instructor

additional information

Historically, there have been modest scholarships available to undergraduates, but they are limited. These funds are approved annually at national level and can only be decided after the interns have been admitted or have started their internship. This potential benefit will be verified with those students who are accepted for an internship. It is recommended that college applicants do not base their decision to apply to the VA St. Louis Health Care System for a social work internship on this potential benefit.

The VA St. Louis Health Care System Social Work Service welcomes applicants with disabilities and does not discriminate on any grounds.

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