Social Work MSW Internship
Social Workers have been integral to the psychosocial treatment of Veterans and their families since 1926 when just 36 social workers were hired at the Veteran’s Health Administration (VHA). Today, the VHA employs over 18,000 social workers is the largest training program of MSW students in the nation. The mission of VA Social Work is to eliminate psychosocial complications as significant barriers to health care interventions for Veterans, their families and caregivers
The MSW concentration internship at the VA Eastern Colorado Healthcare System (ECHCS) is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. To be considered for internship, students must demonstrate enrollment in an MSW program from an accredited school by the Council on Social Work Education. Additionally, students must be in their concentration (final) year of their MSW program.
Internships are offered twice a year in a fall cohort (August start date) and spring cohort (January start date). Days and times that a student may work are subject to the work schedule of the Field Instructor and Task Supervisor. Virtual, weekend, or evening hours are not currently available and a very large majority of learning occurs on-site and in-person. Intern assignments are made by VA staff with input from the prospective intern and based on available Field Instructors/Task Supervisors for that academic year. Available placements can vary year to year. In general, available placements include medical social work, homeless social work, mental health social work and geriatric social work. Please see a list of possible placements below.
Those selected to intern with ECHCS will need to complete several onboarding requirements including: completing agency documents, providing fingerprints to conduct background checks, and a physical. This list is not exhaustive in nature. It is expected of the prospective intern will be able to complete these tasks in a timely manner as to not delay the onboarding process. If at some point the prospective intern is not able to complete tasks or meet deadlines, the intern may be withdrawn from consideration.
Eligibility Requirements Read requirements: Resources for Health Professions Trainees Coming to VA | Eligibility and Forms - Office of Academic Affiliations
· Students must be in your Concentration (final) year of your MSW program.
· Students must complete 600 hours while in your VA placement. This is often a greater number of hours than your school requires.
· Students must be available a total of 24 hours a week in placement. This is often a greater number of hours than your school requires.
· Students must be available on Wednesday afternoons from 2-4pm for a virtual Education Group (education on the various roles of social workers across VA) and Process Group (similar to group supervision).
· Must be a United States citizen.
The application period for the 2024 Fall cohort (beginning in August 2024 and going through April 2025) will be reviewed in two waves of applications, the Early Bird wave and the General wave. The Early Bird Wave allows students to have placement confirmed in mid-February. The General wave allows students to have placements confirmed in mid-April. Please see timeline below.
The Early Bird Wave:
- Emailed documents must be received no later than Friday February 9, 2024
- Interviews will take place on February 14 and February 16
- Selections will be made and students will be informed no later than February 20
- Emailed documents must be received no later than Friday April 5, 2024
- Interviews will take place on April 10 and April 12
- Selections will be made and students will be informed no later than April 16
- Pre-employment checklist and onboarding (April through mid-August)
- In-person Social Work Orientation the week of August 26, 2024 at Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado
How To Apply:
Interns must submit the following documents to the Social Work Graduate Student Program Coordinator, Emilia Worthey, in order for their applications to be considered for placement. Please email at Emilia.Worthey@va.gov.:
2. Cover Letter
3. Application (insert PDF)
Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC)
At the VA Eastern Colorado (EC) GRECC, there are 3 stipend intern slots available for MSW students with a specific interest in caring for older adult populations. Geriatric Research, Education & Clinical Centers (GRECC) are VA centers of excellence focused on aging.
Every GRECC has a health professions training program that brings together a variety of health professions trainees to learn best practices in geriatric specialty care through interprofessional education. Social work students learn how to interact with other disciplines in the care of older veterans using the Geriatric 5Ms framework: mentation, medications, mobility, matters most and multi-complexity.
Monthly interprofessional case conferences are held, which bring all Eastern Colorado GRECC trainees together (geriatric medicine fellows, pharmacy, audiology, psychology, speech language pathology, and physical therapy) to share key information through the lens of each specialty and conceptualize a case together to achieve comprehensive care for older veterans. Other core didactic offerings include: clinical ethics seminar, Friday educational conference series, geriatric grand rounds and journal club.
GRECC MSW interns are matched within the VA’s many older veteran programs at the Eastern Colorado Healthcare System and have the opportunity to spend time in other areas of interest during their internship.
ECHCS has been afforded 13 social work stipends in the amount of $7500 for the entire year. Three of these stipends must have a geriatric placement (see GRECC information above). These stipends are subject to change as the approval of these funds occurs annually at the national level. This potential benefit will be reviewed with those students who are accepted for internship.
--VA Eastern Colorado Social Work welcomes applicants with disabilities and does not discriminate on any grounds.
Emilia Worthey, LCSW
ECHCS Social Work Graduate Student Program Coordinator