Social Work Training Program

The Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry offers a clinical field placement to second-year graduate-level social work students who attend a university with which the hospital has a contract. The department is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of professionals and representation from the following disciplines: clinical social work, psychiatry, clinical and medical psychology, clinical education, nursing and recreational therapy.

Throughout the field placement experience, social work interns receive training in conducting biopsychosocial assessments; diagnosis of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents; treatment planning; providing individual, family and group therapies; providing case management and discharge planning when appropriate, as well as participation in multidisciplinary clinical staffings. Each intern has the opportunity to work with a diverse population of children and adolescents and their families who present with social, emotional and behavioral problems that affect their functioning at home, school, and/or with peers.

The training experience available within the department involves a primary rotation in one of the five treatment-focused programs: Outpatient Psychiatric Services, Partial Hospitalization Program, Inpatient Psychiatric Unit, Target Clinic and Trauma Treatment Services. The social work interns receive weekly and "as-needed" supervision from a primary supervisor within their designated rotation. They also receive task-specific supervision and consultation from clinical social workers and other professionals in the department as necessary.

In addition to the primary rotation, interns complete brief rotations in the other two programs, observe/participate in the outpatient specialty programs and have the opportunity to observe medical social workers in the hospital. Formal educational opportunities include:

  • Weekly lectures on a variety of topics related to child and adolescent psychiatry
  • Monthly lectures presented by visiting speakers as part of an endowed program
  • Bi-weekly multidisciplinary clinical case conferences
  • Monthly group supervision with the department’s team of clinical social workers


All applicants to the social work training program participate in an interview process resulting in the selection of interns and assignment to primary rotations. The field placement is appropriate for second-year interns only, and applicants with prior clinical experience, particularly with children, adolescents and families, are given preference.

The field placement begins on July 1st and continues through the third week of May. Social work interns must complete a health screening including a TB test and provision of a record of immunizations before starting their field placement.

We have contracts with Loyola University, University of Chicago (SSA), University of Illinois at Chicago (Jane Addams), and The Erickson Institute.  If you’re interested in this internship, please contact your university liaison.