We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Get Social Services Work Experience?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At PracticalAdultInsights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

You can get social services work experience by volunteering at a mental health clinic, substance abuse treatment center or children's foster care home. Other ways to gain social services work experience are to assist at homeless shelters, soup kitchens and free clinics. The work is very demanding at times, in part because of the sheer number of recipients of the services. If you have a degree in social work, you might qualify for an internship with a local agency. You might also be able to gain experience by securing a temporary position with a social service agency and will be able to gain hands-on experience while being closely supervised by a more experienced social worker.

One of the most difficult components in gaining social services work experience is that it requires you to work with real clients. Unlike other jobs, any misstep while working with a client could result in very detrimental situation and severe repercussions. This is why many social service positions require one to two years of experience as a volunteer or internist before beginning unsupervised work. Periodic training and testing make certain that a worker is keeping up with his or her training requirements and skills.

Many social service agencies welcome volunteer workers who want to gain social services work experience. Working with children, families and individuals; assisting in securing housing; helping to register a person for government assistance programs; and driving a shuttle to hospital appointments are usually all volunteer positions. This can be good work experience for a beginner or someone who is in the process of earning a degree in social work. Often, substance abuse programs require the assistance of volunteers to run and oversee group meetings, which can lead to valuable social services work experience. You can simply contact agencies where you want to work and volunteer your services.

Churches are another very good place to gain social work training. Many churches hold substance abuse classes and domestic violence classes, and some offer domestic violence shelters for battered women and their children. These are all good places to receive training and gain real-world experience in the social services industry. Other places to gain experience in the social services field are nursing homes and veteran's or children's hospitals. Many programs offer the opportunity for you to begin working and gaining on-the-job experience without any education or experience in the social services field, if you agree to become certified within a certain time frame.

PracticalAdultInsights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Raynbow — On Mar 22, 2014

@spotiche5- The local Salvation Army is a great place for people to get social service experience, and to see many aspects of what a job in the field will be like. From food pantries to emergency shelters, this organization covers a broad range of services that many people in need utilize until they get back on their feet.

At Christmas time for example, most Salvation Army offices provide food and toys for families in need, and require a lot of volunteers to distribute these items. This time of year provides many great opportunities for people who want social service work experience to get involved and help out at an organization that it well-known for providing services to people in their time of need.

By Spotiche5 — On Mar 21, 2014

The field of social services can be one of the most rewarding areas to work in when it comes to helping others. However, it is very important that anyone considering going into this field understand how difficult it can be. It is easy to get attached to clients, and often upsetting to see them go through difficult circumstances. Therefore, getting experience in the field first is very important.

PracticalAdultInsights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

PracticalAdultInsights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.