I am fortunate to employ and supervise a diverse group of social workers and social work MSW and BSW interns. Field placement is organized by Social Work Specialists and aligned with university learning agreements.
Our social workers come from CSUEB, SFSU, SJSU, and UC Berkeley.
The core values of social work are embedded in field placement and clinical supervision. Group supervision, didactic training, and individual supervision for this year’s cohort is provided by experts in the field.
I train the interns in initial intake procedures, crisis intervention, suicide risk assessment and prevention, and advanced clinical social work. Each school year, I introduce the interns to the field of family systems Gregory Bateson, structural family therapy, Salvador Minuchin, Jay Haley, and “family sculpture” by Virginia Satir.
This year, one of the interns put us on the spot and asked if we (supervisors) could role play and demonstrate the skills that we were presenting. This was great timing. We acknowledged her strength for asking for this, in front of her peers. We have heard this from previous interns – “don’t just tell us what to do, show us.” We use process recordings and with permission, audio recording of some therapy sessions. In my clinical psychology program, my appointments were video taped, and I reviewed them supportive supervisors each week.
As supervisors, we learn from our interns each year. We encourage them to never say “I’m just an intern…”. People who are new to our agency and system can see things with fresh eyes, notice things through the lens of equity, and often through younger eyes.
Social work interns see youth with severe (MTSS Tier 3) concerns. We have 19 MSW interns and one BSW student this school year. They are valuable full members of our School Coordinated Care Teams!