I absolutely agree with this. As social workers, we should be making things less classist, instead of more. The current internship system helps to reify the classist structures of society, ensuring that only those privileged enough to be able to take on debt - or pay cash - can truly "afford" an MSW. This is not the way to help people help themselves, and it's not the way a profession centered around social justice should be conducting itself. While there may be some benefit to a field practicum, if social workers are working, they should be paid.
Agreed. The large "human services" agencies benefiting from the constant influx of unpaid interns to carry our the real work do so with little or no intention of rewarding that work with paid positions. Rather, they provide substandard experience with lackluster supervision or guidance, then offer per diem positions for laughable, unreliable pay and no benefits. Meanwhile, those in the organization's administration receive their raises and bonuses while clients and staff suffer. Social workers have never been more able to relate to their clients than now!
I am an MSW student who is going into a lot of debt in order to hopefully land a public policy position. I was never 100% comfortable interning for free but I knew that's what an MSW degree entailed. Interns should be paid.
This is not only a social work concern, but a human rights concern - People who major in non-profit, social work, education among a host of others have grown to expect low pay for quality work and that isn't what this nation was founded on.