The social work internship program provides intense working experience in social work. We place an emphasis on candidates with a strong background in cultural awareness and issues related to equity and diversity. We are interested in supporting students while working from an equity lens, and are committed to educating and supporting students who reflect the diversity of the patients and families we serve.

Learn more about the program and the application process:


Required academic background

Candidates need to be in a Masters-level social work program and completing their clinical (advanced) practicum.

Learning opportunities

Depending on their placement, students will have opportunities to work with patients and families in the following ways:

  • Completing psycho social assessments.
  • Mental health and suicide risk assessments.
  • Neonatal assessments.
  • Child maltreatment cases.
  • Grief and loss issues.
  • Adjustment to a new acute or chronic health diagnosis.
  • Resource referral and patient advocacy.
  • Exploring social determinants of health and their impact on our community.
  • Examining how systems impact a family’s ability to access care.

Expectations of the social work student

The student will need to:

  • Commit to one full academic year (September-May) and 20 hours/week, for a total of 600 hours.
  • Have a flexible schedule as there is potential for some weekends and/or evening hours.
  • Complete required readings, participate in MSW case consult group and equity consult with the team on a monthly basis.
  • Attend weekly medical rounds with a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Attend social work departmental meetings at Children’s Minnesota hospitals in St. Paul or Minneapolis.

Social work department responsibilities

We will provide:

  • A licensed (LICSW) field instructor who will communicate with the student’s university supervisor.
  • Weekly supervision meetings and monthly group supervision.
  • Exposure to a variety of ages and diagnostic groups.
  • A multidisciplinary setting.
  • Involvement in exploration of systems issues related to social determinants of health and issues related to equity and access to health care.
  • Flexibility to tailor internship experience to the student’s needs and interests.
  • Opportunities for continuing education.

Social work internship opportunities

Here is a list of potential opportunities for a social work intern. These are in addition to the basic internship requirements.

  • Grand Rounds: Thursdays from 8-9 a.m.
  • Monthly equity case consultations.
  • In-hospital educational in-services, including Schwartz Center Grand Rounds.
  • Care conferences on individual patients.
  • Shadowing opportunities across other social work coverage areas.
  • Informational interviews with other multidisciplinary team members.
  • Participation in support groups and/or dialogue with the staff who facilitate them.
  • Exposure to hospital-wide committees and family-centered care programs.

Application process

Children’s Minnesota coordinates with local universities through the Intern Placement Tracking (IPT) system for internship placement. Currently we are working with the University of St. Thomas, St. Catherine University, Augsburg University, St. Mary’s University and the University of Minnesota.

Representatives from the social work department will attend the field fair co-sponsored by the local MSW programs each spring to provide additional information about internship opportunities for the upcoming academic year. Specific date and location is provided in January each year. Please contact your school for more information.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, interviews may be held via Webex or other online platform.

Application deadlines

Students can e-mail application materials to Children’s Minnesota beginning the day after the field fair. We will reach out to students the second week of April should an interview be requested. All interviews will be held the third and fourth weeks of April.

Applications including cover letter and current resume may be submitted to:

Additional information to consider before applying

Before applying, prospective students should review:

All matches are contingent upon successful completion and documentation of immunization and background checks. Applicants who do not successfully pass the background check will not be eligible for this internship.

Please note: Hospital specialty programs including palliative care, integrated behavioral health (IBH), center for treatment of eating disorders (CTED), and The Mother Baby Center may offer internship opportunities that are not managed by the social work department. Please direct interest for these programs directly to their contacts for additional information and application process.

Children’s Minnesota social work department and roles

Clinical social work services focus on the psychological and social impact health care needs have on the family system. We assist patients and families with the physical, emotional and social issues and concerns that exist during a hospitalization. By providing information about health and illness (including grief and loss), we hope to encourage patients and families become active participants in their care.

Our social work team

Children’s Minnesota has more than 50 social workers who provide clinical services 24/7. This includes dedicated social workers for specialty units including trauma, transplant, cardiovascular intensive care, cancer and blood disorders, gender health, cystic fibrosis, pediatric intensive care units, neonatal intensive care units, medical/surgical units, behavioral health, emergency room, and our teen diabetes clinic.

Clinical social workers at Children’s Minnesota are masters-level educated clinicians (MSW). Most of our social workers are licensed at the clinical level (LICSW) by the Minnesota Board of Social Work and all working toward clinical licensure.

The strong team of social workers at Children’s Minnesota work every day to meet the psychosocial and mental health needs of our patients and their families. They are part of the multidisciplinary team that makes Children’s Minnesota great.

Services provided

The services we provide are:

  • Crisis intervention.
  • Short-term counseling to patient and families to assist them with emotional and psychological distress.
  • Supportive counseling for patients and families as they adjust to a new diagnosis or chronic illness.
  • Comprehensive biopsychosocial assessments.
  • Addressing issues of family violence and abuse.
  • Grief, loss and bereavement care.
  • Advocacy for children and families at Children’s Minnesota and in the community.
  • Information and referral to hospital and community resources.
  • Financial counseling.
  • Consultation with the medical team to assure the strengths and needs of the patient and family are recognized.
  • Coordination of high risk and high profile cases.
  • Promoting trauma informed care with equity lens.
  • Mental health support and referrals.
  • Psychotherapy provided in specific ambulatory settings.
  • Assist with transition to adult care.
  • Advanced directive support for our adult patients.