Student Internship Opportunities

Field placements offered by Dauphin County Social Services for Children and Youth provide a unique and challenging opportunity for developing social work skills. The internship extends beyond the field placement requirements of most universities and offers an intensive and enriching experience.

General Expectations

Skills To Be Developed

Knowledge To Be Developed

Student Casework Internship Goal

The goal of the student casework internship at Dauphin County Social Services for Children and Youth is to prepare undergraduate social work students for employment in public child welfare agencies. Students learn to provide child welfare interventions with families through a variety of practical experiences. The internship provides an opportunity for students to integrate classroom learning from the BSW curriculum with direct social work practice in the child welfare field.

Preferred Student Background and Characteristics

  • Students must be enrolled full time in an accredited undergraduate bachelor's degree program in Sociology, Social Welfare, Psychology, or Social Work and have completed 75 credit hours.
  • Students must be on the approved State Civil Service list for County Casework Interns.
  • Students must be committed to the basic concepts of permanency for children, that is the belief that children belong with their natural families in most cases and that intervention efforts should be focused no strengthening families in order to provide a healthy and safe environment for children.
  • Students must have the value orientation consistent with achieving the goals of public child welfare, including a nonjudgmental approach; providing services in the home setting; limits of governmental intervention in family life; rights of children to have a safe, nurturing environment; rights of parents to raise their children.

Theoretical Background

Students must have completed courses that are compatible with direct service practice in child welfare. This includes courses in family systems, interviewing, cultural diversity, child development, and human development and behavior in the social environment. Elective courses such as child welfare, family preservation, child abuse and neglect, drug and alcohol abuse, family violence, and sociology of social problems are preferred.


Students are expected to complete a 975 hour (six months) internship for which they will receive an hourly wage, contingent upon student performance and availability of funds. This requires a commitment beyond the field work expected by the school. Students must be committed to complete the full internship in order to be accepted into the program.