DSH - Atascadero: Internships - Social Worker Internship Program

Contact Information:

Mona Amian-Skamfer, MSW, LCSW
Chief of Social Work Service

Department of State Hospitals - Atascadero
P.O. Box 7001
10333 El Camino Real
Atascadero, CA 93423-7001
Phone: (805) 468-2038
Fax: (805) 468-3111
Email: DSH-ASocialWorkRecruitment@dsh.ca.gov

Social Work Internship Program Description:

The mission of the Social Work Internship Program at Department of State Hospitals-Atascadero (DSH-A) is to train interns as complete professionals who can function effectively in a variety of job settings. The training includes working with ethical issues, working within an interdisciplinary team, coordinating community resources, working within bureaucracies, and advocating for issues related to the field of social work.

The primary emphasis of the internship program is on clinical training. Interns are encouraged to think critically and apply appropriate assessment and treatment methods. An intern's clinical training and experience is supported by didactics in training and supervision. Experiences within the Social Work Internship Program at Department of State Hospitals-Atascadero (DSH-A) are designed to assist in achieving the goal of educational and professional competency by the end of the training year.

Populations Served:

DSH-A receives patients committed by California courts and the Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR). The hospital is an all-male, maximum-security, forensic, psychiatric facility that specializes in the treatment of adult, mentally ill men committed across the state. The cultural diversity of the patient population includes representatives from a variety of ethnic, religious, and spiritual backgrounds.

Minimum Qualifications and Expectations of Students Entering Program:

Social Work internships are offered to Masters of Social Work (MSW) students currently enrolled in and in good standing with a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited education program. Prior to the commencement of an internship at DSH-A, students must have successfully completed at least one previous year of internship placement or have an equivalent period of forensic mental health experience. Before being placed, interns must successfully complete/pass the required security clearance, health screening, and drug screening.

How to Apply:

Social work students who are considering to apply to DSH-A for internship are encouraged to discuss their interest with their university field internship coordinator. The university field internship coordinator should make contact with the Supervising Social Worker of Professional Education at DSH-A to: establish a current contact between agencies (if no current contract exists); facilitate contact by mail between the intern candidate and the Supervising Social Worker; and assist in coordinating a scheduled in-person interview.

The application and interviews of intern candidates must be completed by May 1st of the academic year prior to the year the internship begins.

Informational Brochure

Internship Details:

Facility Type:State forensic psychiatric hospital

Client Types:  Forensic mentally-ill (male)

Client Ages:  Young adult, middle-aged adult, older adult

Number of interns per period: Variable

Number of Supervisors: Variable

Stipend: N/A

Housing: N/A

Meals: N/A

Environment: See About the Area