Social Work Internships with Distinctive Schools!

Social workers serve as a lifeline during challenging times. Embarking on a career in social work requires hands-on experience and a commitment to making a positive community impact. For those seeking to develop their skills in a dynamic and supportive environment, Distinctive Schools offers a unique and enriching social work internship program. 

A Commitment to Lifelong Education. Distinctive Schools is renowned for its commitment to providing high quality education and fostering a positive learning environment for all learners – adults included! We recognize the crucial role social workers play in creating a supportive environment for students and their families, and strive to ensure that every child has the opportunity to thrive academically and emotionally in a safe, nurturing environment. Our deep commitment to social emotional development and prioritizing the needs of all learners continues far beyond our classroom walls.

“At Distinctive Schools, we welcome interns to learn alongside professionals in the field, providing unique and diverse opportunities for a wide range of social work experiences,” Jamie Bernstein, Intern Program Manager for Distinctive Schools shared, “This is an amazing opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience that will genuinely prepare them for their career.”   

One of the standout features of Distinctive Schools' internship program is the opportunity to work in diverse and inclusive learning spaces. Interns have the chance to engage with students from various backgrounds, allowing them to develop cultural humility and a deeper sense of empathy for the challenges faced by different communities. This exposure is invaluable for future social workers, as it equips them with the tools to address the unique needs of a diverse population.

An internship is a pivotal step in a social work student's journey, and our internship program is designed to empower interns with the skills and knowledge necessary for a successful career. Our program ensures that our interns gain practical insights that prepare them for the challenges and rewards of a career in social work. We offer three different internship opportunities – PEL (Professional Educator License),Clinical internships, and First Year Internships. 

  • PEL interns work primarily with our Special Education population – students with IEPs or 504 plans that include social work minutes. Interns work closely with the current school social worker, preparing for their future by completing functional behavior assessments and developing behavior intervention plans. PEL track interns learn about the entire IEP and 504 plan process, and regularly meet with learners to help them reach their goals. PEL interns also provide social emotional support for general education students by facilitating whole class lessons, small group sessions, and individual check-ins.   

  • Clinical interns are typically more interested in community mental health, they get their own caseload of clients and generally meet weekly for individual sessions with students. There are also opportunities to facilitate groups, work with families for either parent-child or family therapy, or even sessions with caregivers. Clinical interns complete mental health assessments, create individual treatment plans, support crisis response, and gain hands-on experience in the field.  

  • First Year Interns are in their first year of graduate school and are just beginning their social work journey. First year interns get a well rounded social work experience in a school setting. They have opportunities to facilitate restorative conversations, support students with emotion regulation, and co-facilitate small group sessions. First year interns complete a needs assessment to determine social emotional needs at the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. They’ll get to share their findings with their school’s student support team, and will implement interventions to support those needs. Additional opportunities are available to personalize the caseload, depending upon the interests of the intern. 

Interns are provided with a dedicated LCSW supervisor who guides and supports them throughout their internship journey. This mentorship ensures that interns have a solid foundation to build upon, fostering both personal and professional growth. The emphasis on supervision also helps interns navigate the complexities of the field while honing their skills in real-world scenarios.

Interns also have the chance to connect with experienced social workers, educators, and collaborate with other aspiring professionals in the field. These collaborative opportunities not only provide valuable insights but also open doors to potential career paths.

Distinctive Schools' social work internship program is a gateway for aspiring social workers to immerse themselves in a dynamic and inclusive learning environment. Through hands-on experience, mentorship, and community engagement, interns are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to make a meaningful impact in the lives of individuals and communities. Distinctive Schools offers a transformative journey towards becoming effective, compassionate social work professionals. If you’re interested in learning more about our social work internship opportunities, please reach out to Jamie Bernstein.