Petition Closed
Petitioning Office of the President Council for Social Work Education Accreditation Standards
This petition will be delivered to:
Office of the President
Council for Social Work Education Accreditation Standards

Reform Internship Requirements for Social Work Students

Social Work students are paying high tuition cost and are going in debt to work for free. Higher education use to mean a better life, and a better shot at the American Dream. Agencies are benefiting, Schools of Social Work are benefiting, but what about the person assuming all the cost. The purpose of the internship is to provide a place to gain work experience. However, students are not being considered for positions due to lack of paid experience despite working extensive internships for free. Public Sector Social Workers often have to leave paid work in order to intern for free. Current internship requirements deter experienced professionals from seeking higher education.  We simply do not live in an era where loss of income due to unpaid work is feasible.

No other profession demands the amount of hours required by a social work degree for no pay and no guarantee of health insurance benefits for all students.  A profession that requires unpaid internships, if any, is not paying the low salaries social workers will encounter in the job market. Those folks are going to higher paying jobs, and there is a Return on Investment for them somewhere along the way. After making this huge investment, Social Work students are considering not putting their Newly Purchased BMW 745...I mean “Social Work Degree” on their resumes in hopes of becoming wait staff or getting a retail job to avoid losing their homes or feeding their families.

I urge you to identify ways to help social work students to become social workers without driving students and their families to the welfare line. A culture is being created where only those with privilege or who can live with their parents can afford a social work degree. Don't keep out compassionate people without financial means from entering the profession. Reform is needed to restructure internship requirements in order to prevent creating hardships for students and their families. 


Letter to
Office of the President Council for Social Work Education Accreditation Standards
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Council for Social Work Education Accreditation Standards.

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Reform Internship Requirements for Social Work Students

Social Work Students are paying high tuition and are going in debt to work for free Higher education use to mean a better life. A better shot at the American Dream. Agencies are benefiting, Schools of Social Work are benefiting, but what about the person assuming all the debt and cost. The purpose of the internship is to gain work experience. However, students are being turned away from jobs and not being considered for positions for lack of experience. Students are being told that their internships don't count as experience. It suppose to be a learning experience right? Working Practitioners are having to leave jobs as Social Workers to work free as Social Workers if they want that coveted degree. Where is the lesson in that? We do not live an era where leaving a job is feasible when it can be avoided. No other profession demands the amount of hours required by a social work degree for no pay and no guarantee of health insurance benefits for all students. The profession that does, if any, are not paying the salaries that social workers will make when entering the job market. Those folks are going to much higher paying jobs. Their is a Return on Investment for them somewhere along the way. Social Work students are considering not putting their Newly Purchased BMW 745...I meant Degree on their resumes in hopes of becoming waitstaff or getting a retail job to avoid losing their homes and feeding their families. I urge you to identify ways to help aspiring social work students to become social workers without driving students and their families to the welfare line. A culture is being created where only those with privilege or who can live with their parents can afford a social work degree. Don't keep out compassionate people without means from entering the profession.
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Sincerely,