United States Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Social Work

Student Education

Universities and Colleges with Affiliations
Many universities and colleges with social work programs have affiliation agreements for students to complete field placements at VA facilities.  Contact your local university or college Field Placement Coordinator to inquire if your school has an affiliation agreement with a VA facility in your geographic area.

Student Education Placement Opportunities 

How to Apply for Field Placements
Have your Field Placement Coordinator contact the Social Work Education Coordinator at the VA facility where you are interested in completing your internship.  Your Field Placement Coordinator will provide you the application to complete for a VA field placement.

Availability of Stipends
Some VA facilities have stipends available for students completing field placements.  Please have your Field Placement Coordinator contact the VA Social Work Education Coordinator to determine stipend availability and application procedures.

Applying for VA Employment Post Internship
Students who complete field placements at VA facilities are encouraged to discuss employment opportunities with the Social Work Chief or Executive.

To learn about national vacancies and how to apply, visit the website * USA Jobs. You may also contact the Human Resource office at the facility of your interest.

Social Work Licensure
In compliance with Public Law 106-419, VA social workers appointed after August 14, 1991, must be licensed at the master’s level to independently practice social work in a state.  Reference VHA Handbook 5005/23Social Worker Qualification Standard Including Licensure and/or Certification Requirement.  This handbook sets forth the qualification for appointment as a social worker in VHA.  It includes recent changes to the licensure and/or certification requirements for DVA social workers made by section 205 of Public Law 106-419, the Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act pf 2000, November 1, 2000.

Helpful Sites for Interviewing Skills
Performance Based Interviewing

Other Useful Links:

*Association of VA Social Workers  The Association, the VA professional organization for social workers, has as its  purpose to encourage development of comprehensive Social Work services to veteran beneficiaries through education and training, leadership promotion, and the sharing of information to enhance the effectiveness of Social Work.  The Association will advocate for the recruitment, retention, and increased recognition of VA Social Workers.

*National Association of Social Workers
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world, with nearly 150,000 members.  NASW works to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.

*Association of Social Work Boards  The Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is the association of boards that regulate social work.  ASWB develops and maintains the series of social work licensing examinations used by every state except California.  ASWB is a central resource for information on the legal regulation of social work.  Through the association, social work boards can share information and work together.  ASWB is also available to help individual social workers and social work students with questions they may have about licensing and the social work examinations.

*Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care  The Society for Social Work Leadership in Health Care (SSWLHC) is a professional organization, 1300 members strong, dedicated to promoting the universal availability, accessibility, coordination, and effectiveness of health care that addresses the psychosocial components of health and illness.

*Association of Oncology Social Workers (AOSW)  Oncology social work is the primary professional discipline which, as part of the oncology team, provides psychosocial services to cancer patients, their families, and caregivers.  The Association connects patients and their families with essential community, state, national, and international resources.  As advocates, AOSW and its members are dedicated to increasing awareness about the social, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of cancer patients through research, writing, presenting workshops and lectures.  The organization is involved in collaborating with other patient advocacy groups, national and international oncology organizations with the primary focus access and quality care for cancer patients.

*American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Psychologists and Social Workers
The American Association of Spinal Cord Injury Psychologists and Social Workers (AASCIPSW) is an organization of psychologists and social workers who provide for the emotional, behavioral and psychosocial care of persons affected by spinal cord impairment (SCI).  AASCIPSW, incorporated in 1986, operates exclusively for scientific, charitable and educational purposes.  AASCIPSW provides members the opportunity to develop and refine leadership skills through active participation in the Association.

*The New Social Worker Online
This site was developed in 1995 as an avenue to disseminate information to social workers and those interested in social work careers.  As the technology grew and developed, we added interactive features to make the site a full-fledged social work community.

*Disclaimer: Links will take you outside of the Department of Veterans Affairs Website. VA does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of the linked websites