SOCIAL SERVICE DEPARTMENT
What is a Social Service Department Internship?
The Social Service Department offers an internship for bachelor’s and/or master’s degree students interested in learning about working in the criminal justice system. The one or two semester-long program combines both classroom orientation and experiential opportunities for the student to gain a comprehensive understanding of the role and responsibilities of the caseworker in the criminal justice system. Students will have opportunities to manage a small caseload, participate in court activity, network with other departments and agencies and attend department meetings and trainings.
Classroom orientation provides an overview of departmental policy, procedures, criminal justice terminology and provides the foundation for students to manage a small caseload. Students are introduced to and learn how to navigate the department computer systems, complete thorough assessments, develop collaborative casework plans with clients, prepare court documents and train with professional staff.
There are also opportunities for students to work with administrative staff and learn how policy affects the casework staff and the department as a whole. Students who are required to be supervised by a licensed professional are accommodated by participation in clinical supervision.
What time commitments are required?
Interns are required to attend all six-day orientation sessions and commit to working a minimum of two full days per week, complete a minimum of 200 hours or meet their school’s internship requirements.
What are the eligibility requirements?
To be eligible for the internship program, undergraduate students must have completed two years of studies and have an overall grade point average of at least 2.5 and a grade point average of at least 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) in their major.
Graduate students must have a graduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
All applicants must submit: a current official undergraduate and, if applicable, graduate transcript, a cover letter, current résumé or vitae and two letters of reference (one from an academic source and one from an employer or supervisor at a volunteer setting) and a current writing sample. All applicants are also subject to criminal background checks.
How does the application process start?
Students must contact our department Training Director and request an application packet. Upon receipt of the application and accompanying documents, all materials are reviewed and prospective interns are contacted to schedule an interview to further discuss opportunities available and determine selection.
What are the application deadlines?
All applications should be submitted 12 weeks prior to the start of the semester, quarter, or summer term for which admission is sought.
What are the required documents?
1. Department Internship application
2. Résumé and cover letter
3. Official college transcripts
4. Writing sample (to evaluate writing skills)
5. Two letters of recommendation -- one from an academic source and one from an employer/supervisor from a work or volunteer setting.
If you are interested in applying for an internship or if you would like more information regarding the internship program, please contact the department’s Deputy Director at Clinical Services at (773)674-6025 or email at Tammie.Birmann@cookcountyil.gov.
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