Child and Family Services Internship Manual
Updated: Summer, 2008
Table of Contents
Internship Information and Guidelines ………………………………………………...2
Criteria for Approval of an Internship …………………………………………………4
Course Objectives for Internship……………………………………………………….5
Frequently Asked Questions……………………………………………………………6
Sample Application Packet & Forms…………………………………………………..9
Example Application Narrative……………………………………………….16
Human Development and Family Science/Child and Family Services
(HDFS/CFS) Internship Information and Guidelines
What is an HDFS Internship?
An internship is a direct field experience that is the culmination and application of knowledge
base and skills. The internship is an opportunity to expose you to areas in management, social
services, policy, and research. The internship is designed to provide you with a new and unique
experience. Students are expected to gain an understanding of the philosophy, organization, and
―inner workings‖ of their internship site and become familiar with the roles, responsibilities, and
limitations of individual, family and community service professionals. Taking advantage of this
opportunity to learn management and supervisory skills will provide an important foundation for
your future career in the vast field of Child and Family Services.
Why an Internship?
Actual experience working in the field is an effective way to learn. There are many valuable
opportunities that come through an internship in Human Development and Family Science.
Through the internship, a student experiences the application of knowledge gained in the
classroom to the internship setting. An internship serves as a bridge between education and your
career. Thus, the internship:
-Develops your knowledge base, problem solving and critical thinking skills
-Increases your understanding of the profession and field
-Maximizes your career-oriented goals and launches you into your career
-Develops your ability to work in a defined role/position and self-assess your
When do you do an Internship?
Typically an internship is done your senior year, but may be done the end of your junior year.
Some have even chosen to serve their internship the summer after all their coursework is
completed in order to maximize their focus in their particular area of interest. The primary reason
for the internship being served later in your undergraduate career is the need to utilize courses in
the department to help ensure a successful experience. Required courses include:
HDFS 1112 HDFS Orientation
HDFS 3523 Professional Skills
HDFS 3533 Observation and Assessment
Preferred course: HDFS 4433 Family Life Education
HDFS 4521 Pre-Internship
Note: Course substitutions are made on an individual basis. Requests are approved by your
advisor and Internship Coordinator.
Students must have a minimum 2.5 Major and HES core GPA and a minimum 2.5 Overall GPA
Where do I begin?
Hopefully you have been working with your advisor and other mentors in the field to carefully
plan where you would like to do your internship. If you have not narrowed down your choices
with your advisor, there is still time, however you are encouraged to begin now. Those who are
more satisfied overall with their internship gave considerable thought to long term career goals
and how to get there rather than ―settling‖ for what is convenient. Meet with your advisor to get
ideas. Brecca Farr in the CHES office, room 101, is an excellent resource. Her phone number is
(405) 744-9533, community resource directories are also a good resource in which to look for
possibilities. Another option would be to set up a meeting with the internship coordinator, Kelly
Roberts, (HES 320A; 744-3683) for additional ideas and opportunities. Think of applying to an
internship as applying to a professional job. The search will require initiative, prioritization,
hard work, professionalism, and a good package (resume, cover letter, etc.)
Suggested steps to follow:
A. Examine career plans and options
B. Work with advisor, OSU Career Services, etc. to explore opportunities
C. Prepare a resume and draft a general letter of application
D. Contact sites about possibilities of internship
E. Gain approval of internship site from the Internship Coordinator if the site hasn’t
been used by our department for the past three years.
F. Apply for the internship job(s) using current resume; personalize each letter of
application to fit particular sites
G. Make appropriate and timely follow-up contacts to sites where resume has been
sent; CELEBRATE WHEN YOU’RE CONFIRMED TO A SITE!
H. Complete the Internship Application and Internship contract. Submit the
complete form to the Internship Coordinator.
I. When you receive an e-mail from the Internship Coordinator that your application
has been reviewed and you are APPROVED to enroll, make sure and enroll in the
course for the appropriate semester. Detailed enrollment guidelines can be found
in the FAQ’s section.
J. Proof of liability insurance will be provided to you about 1-3 weeks into the
semester; the insurance fee is charged to your bursar’s account when you enroll in
the internship class
Criteria for Approval of an Internship
Full time or part time employment, paid if possible; ability to attain hours
On-site supervisor agreement to provide and supervise the required work hours
Clear relation of internship site to HDFS CFS discipline and mission
Reputable internship site
New position--the internship is designed to provide new experiences and catapult
you into your career
Owner and direct supervisor not a relative of student
OSU provides liability EXCEPT on work site transportation – check with your
site about this issue.
Assignments of duties include performance goals and activities related to
transmitting HDFS information to others; synthesis of knowledge; application of
theories, research, and policy in human development and family interaction;
maintaining proper records and procedures; demonstrating ethical and
professional behaviors; working with individuals and groups; initiating skills in
assessment, planning, implementation, and reassessment in working with
individuals, families, and groups; and other functions which are involved in
successfully completing the internship.
Important Governing guidelines for your Internship Experience:
Maintain communication with the faculty supervisor. Issues of concern with
internship site need to be brought up immediately. It is much easier to help solve
problems sooner than later.
Maintain communication with site supervisor.
Internship utilizes HDFS skills and focuses on HDFS field. Jobs that are
primarily clerical in nature would not be appropriate.
Meet course objectives.
Course Objectives for Internship:
A. Become familiar with the purposes, methods, challenges, and solutions of the
agency in which you are placed.
B. Learn what the policies and procedures are of the agency and learn to work
C. Demonstrate the synthesis of knowledge and capacity to think fostered in a
broad general education.
D. Learn the practical mechanics of the agency’s operations (e.g. the use of
equipment, clerical procedures, record keeping and reports, clientele
characteristics, successful ways of maintaining client contact, etc.)
E. Gain an understanding of the agency’s relationship to other community
resources and programs and how to meet individual and family needs.
F. Demonstrate resource management skills of planning and allocating time,
money, and people to achieve desired program goals.
G. Apply theories of human development and family interaction to individuals
and to families.
H. Demonstrate skill in working with individuals and groups, including
interview, documentation, observation, and facilitation skills.
I. Demonstrate ethical and professional behaviors in working with people in
J. Demonstrate valuing the diversity and worth of individuals, families, and
lifestyles in various contextual settings, ethnic groups, and sub-cultures.
K. Demonstrate skills in assessment, planning, implementation, and reassessment
in working with individuals, families, and groups.
L. Demonstrate skills in interacting with service agencies to meet the needs of
M. Appraise his/her own development, coping skills, and individual strengths and
work areas as well as the ability to seek reflective feedback.
Pay attention to deadlines to apply for an HES internship scholarship. The scholarships are
established to help students seek high quality internships that may incur costs or expenses to
students (e.g. travel out of state, etc.) Check with your advisor to apply.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I start counting my hours?
An internship cannot start, thus hours do not count, until you get the final signatures on your
internship contract. The internship officially begins the first day of classes of each semester.
You must seek written approval from the Internship Faculty Supervisor if you desire to start
Do I have to stay in Stillwater or Tulsa?
No. In fact, students are encouraged to look beyond Stillwater and Tulsa. In the past students
have done their internships all over the state, country, and even internationally. The idea is to
stretch your skills and to expose yourself to a rich learning environment where you can thrive as
a professional. The college has internship scholarships students can apply for if the internship
requires travel or lodging out of the state.
Does the internship require a class to attend?
The internship is primarily comprised of field experience. The internship course is currently
utilizing D2L (web-based delivery). All students are required to have access to the web and
email. Class discussions will foster discussion, application of knowledge and skill, and
critical thinking. Class may involve meeting once at the beginning of the semester, and once
at the end – depending upon group and university scheduling.
How do I enroll in the course?
The internship class is taught using the internet as the primary venue, thus this categorize the
class as an ―Extension Course.‖ In order to enroll in the Extension courses, Stillwater based
students need to visit the CHES Academic Program Specialist, Anne Mahoney in HES 113. She
can be contacted for questions at (405) 744-9386. For students based on the Tulsa campus, you’ll
need to get the form from your advisor, they will assist you.
How many hours of internship are required?.
For HDFS 4525 internship: Spend a minimum of 360 hours in face to face contact
hours with staff and/or clients at site. Hours should be spent in a minimum of a 4
hour block and at one site (exceptions made only with prior consent/approval of
professor). This course is for students in the HDFS CFS plan. It is a six hour class.
Note: Lunch breaks, sleeping time, personal business, traveling to and from work, do not
count as hours
When do I begin?
Students begin discussing their internship possibilities with their advisor their freshman and
sophomore years. Narrowing down the possibilities early is helpful. Quality internships go
quickly, so planning in advance is essential. Students must get PRIOR approval of their
internship site and role at the site. Students need to have their internship application approved
and their contract signed no later than the first week of classes. Since the process takes some
time and internships sometimes can fall through, please provide plenty of time. Summer
internships must have approval the last week of the preceding spring semester. To attain an
excellent internship site, a student needs to plan to have their internship packet complete the
semester prior to beginning. All Student Internships must be approved by the Faculty Internship
Coordinator PRIOR to beginning. Approval is essential!
Can I do an internship at a religious organization?
Many of our students have worked with religious organizations to complete quality internships.
The students are NOT able to count worship services (e.g. bible study) or evangelistic/
Do I need liability insurance?
The department requires liability insurance to help protect our students. This does not give any
additional freedom and students must be prepared to follow state laws, agency/site policy, and
practice professionally. Students enrolled in the course will be charged a small fee and the
department will purchase the insurance on the student’s behalf.
What are some of the types of internships students have done?
There is a vast range of internships within HDFS. HDFS have an extraordinary amount of
opportunities available to them. Remember it is not only WHERE you do your internship it is
also essential to look at WHAT you will be doing and WHERE it will take you in your career.
An internship database is also being created for you that will continue to grow over the years
with specific information about the HDFS-CFS possibilities at each site. The idea list is so long,
that it is impossible to list all types.
Some of these include:
Child & Adolescent Community
Adolescent Treatment Center American Cancer Society/Red Cross
Adoption Center Big Brothers Big Sisters
Camps Child Abuse Network
Child Life Specialist Community Mental Health Centers
Child Advocate Community Service Council
Child Protective Services Courthouse Advocate
Foster Care Assessment Specialist Disabilities office
Group Home Coordinator District Attorney’s Office
Oklahoma Association of Youth Services Domestic Violence
Agencies Family Resource Center
Parent-Child Center Gatekeepers
Inner City Programs After School Programs
Office for Disabilities Child Care Centers as Assistant Director
Make a Wish Foundation Child Care Licensing Office
Marriage and Family Therapy Intern Early Start
Marriage Partners Head Start
Mediation Services Public Schools developing curriculum
Probation and/or Parole Officer
Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy Elderly
Legislative Office (state or federal) Adult Day Services
Prison Programs Alzheimer’s Center
YMCA/YWCA Assisted Living Centers
Veterans Office Elderhostel
Cooperative Extension Nursing Homes
4-H Programming and Development
County Agents Oversees
Faculty Research and Development International Adoption Services
Medical Treatment Centers
Military Family Programs
For a detailed database of internships served over the last few years, contact your advisor or
Kelly Roberts. This database is maintained and housed in the HDFS departmental ―G‖ drive.
If you have questions, please email me at email@example.com or call me at 405-
744-3683. You may schedule an appointment by using these same venues. Thank you.
Sample Application Packet and Forms
Example Application Narrative
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AND FAMILY SCIENCE
APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION TO 4525 INTERNSHIP
PART I. (To be completed by the student)
Last First MI
Street Address City State Zip Code
Current Email : Phone
Major HDFS CFS Option in Major
Minor(s) Semester Enrolling for Internship:
Total Credit Hours Completed to Date Expected Graduation Date
I understand I must satisfactorily complete the criteria for Full Admission to Internship prior to enrolling. I
understand that it is my responsibility to approve my internship with the department Internship Supervisor prior to
starting an internship. I understand the internship requires a concentrated intense field placement and potentially
carries risks in working in various locales and with diverse populations. I also understand that I am responsible for
attaining the requirements and demonstrating achievement of these competencies.
PART II: (To be completed by the Academic Advisor)
Semester completed and grade received (or semester scheduled to enroll in course)*:
A. Successful ("C" or better) completion of
(please indicate completion with a checkmark):
HDFS 1112 HDFS Orientation
HDFS 3523 Professional Skills
HDFS 3533 Observation and Assessment
____________ HDFS 4521 Pre-Internship
B. Major and HES core GPA (2.5 min.)
C. Overall GPA (2.5 min.)
*If substitution course used, please note what course is being used
I verify that the above information is correct and recommend that this student be admitted to the Internship upon
successful completion of course prerequisites.
PART III: (To be completed by Internship Instructor)
A. Preliminary approval of site if not utilized by HDFS intern in last three years.
B. Completed internship application form has been reviewed & approved.
D. Student has completed all steps of internship procurement & approval, and
may enroll into the HDFS 4525 course for the appropriate semester.
Admission to Internship:
Granted, student may enroll in Internship
Student scheduled to enroll .
Approved Internship Site: _______________________________________________
Internship Paid: ______________ Internship Scholarship Awarded:
Anticipated Start Date: ______________________
PART IV: (To be completed by the student.)
Please check the individual or family groups you are interested in working with during your internship.
infants aging individuals
preschool children families
school age children others (please specify)
Please check the types of settings that interest you the most for your internship.
early childhood education legal services
social service agencies mental health services
health care agencies religious programs
recreational programs other (please specify)
other educational settings
1. Describe your previous experiences working with individuals and families. (1-3 paragraphs)
2. Provide a one page proposal with the following: description of the internship site, rationale for
your placement there (how does the site fit with the application of HDFS knowledge and your
professional goals), and expectations you will accomplish during the internship.
3. On a separate page, provide 3-5 specific professional goals you will accomplish on your
internship and under each goal provide 2-3 specific measurable objectives of how you will meet
4. Attach current copy of resume.
HDFS Department - Oklahoma State University
INTERNSHIP JOB DESCRIPTION AND CONTRACT
This contract verifies the agreement between the student and site supervisor that the student
goals/objectives, job description, and hours are acceptable and that the site supervisor agrees to provide
oversight and feedback to the student. The student has established the attached set of goals and objectives
and agrees to complete ____ hours of internship. Briefly describe responsibilities (job description) of
Anticipated days of week/time expected on site:
Should the student be deemed to be unsuited for the internship due to failure to meet either Agency or
University standards, this agreement may be terminated by mutual consent. The student with the consent
of the instructor may also terminate this contract if the experience fails to meet either course objectives
and/or student objectives.
Student Name Student Phone Student e-mail
Site Supervisor Site Name Site Phone
Site Address, City, State, Zip code Supervisor e-mail
Student Signature Date Site Supervisor Signature Date
Kelly M. Roberts, MS, LMFT Oklahoma State University 405-744-3683
Faculty Supervisor Staff Phone
Faculty e-mail Faculty Signature Date
HDFS 4525 INTERNSHIP RESPONSIBILITIES
Responsibilities of Student
Complete Internship Application—student part must be typed/completed by word processing
Negotiate internship responsibilities and goals with site supervisor that are consistent with the
HDFS knowledge base and personal career goals.
Submit copies of approved goals/objectives, and internship job description and contract to the
site supervisor and attain signature. Contract is to be completed in triplicate: one for the site
supervisor, one for the student, and one for the faculty supervisor.
Submit signed copies of internship goals, objectives, and contract to faculty supervisor. NO
HOURS COUNT until this form is signed and dated by faculty supervisor, and you have been
notified that you are approved to move forward into your internship experience.
Perform responsibilities of internship as described in the internship job description in a
Complete required internship hours per credit hour of internship.
Consistently keep faculty supervisor informed of your activities.
Maintain a daily log of internship activities and experiences activity reports, and evaluations.
Complete requirements on syllabus by the due date. Student responsible for attaining syllabi.
Maintain communication with site supervisor, faculty supervisor, and class (online discussion).
Take initiative when questions, situations, or concerns arise.
Complete time logs.
Meet with site and faculty supervisors for midterm and final evaluations/consultations.
Research and prepare a written project that integrates internship experience with the HDFS
Responsibilities of Faculty Supervisor
Assist students in identifying and clarifying goals and objectives and identify appropriateness
Approve student internship.
Maintains records and forms by each student during internship
Conducts evaluation consultations and evaluates and provides feedback to students on internship.
Assist students in applying internship objectives and HDFS knowledge base to the internship
experience and support practice of professional skills.
Responds to concerns and questions of students.
Provides feedback and grade to student.
Responsibilities of Site Supervisor
Reviews the student goals and objectives to establish appropriateness for the agency.
Works with student to identify responsibilities that reflect entry professional experiences.
Provides opportunities for the student to learn and develop and apply their career goals and
Helps student to implement entry level professional skills.
Completes a final evaluation of the student's performance using the supplied Supervisor
Evaluation Form. A mid-term evaluation is strongly suggested, but not required.
Provides guidance and support as the student practices professional skills and develops a
Contacts faculty supervisor at (405) 744-3683 as questions or concerns arise.
Provides supervision and feedback of student performance in meeting goals, objectives, and
Directs student in obtaining information and resources on the history, goals, and organization of
Goals and Objectives
1. To gain an understanding of program planning, implementation, and evaluation
1.1 Successfully write and implement weekly lesson plans for the kindergarten
activity class and after-school program as measured by acquiring formal approval
from the program coordinator at the FRC
1.2 Assess skills of participants as needed and adjust curriculum accordingly as
measured by program evaluation tools and lesson plan changes
1.3 Research developmentally appropriate activities for children and
incorporate them into the curriculum as measured by indications in lesson
plans for each age group
2. To gain an awareness and understanding of other cultures and incorporate diversity in my
2.1 Build supportive relationships with the children in the FRC programs as measured
by increased positive interaction with the kids throughout the program
2.2 Research the variety of cultures and ethnicities of the children in the programs
and incorporate diversity in the programming material as measured by its
incorporation into my lesson plans each week
2.3 Challenge children to look at the world through a global perspective as measured
by incorporating the ideals, values, and traditions of the various cultures/countries
represented in my weekly lesson plans
3. To gain administrative and professional skills needed in the workplace
3.1 Serve as a resource for children and families by supporting their needs as
measured by weekly documentation in FRC records and my internship journal
3.2 Participate in seminars and staff meetings to receive professional suggestions
from my colleagues as needed as measured by my attendance to these events,
documentation in my internship journal, and creation of a slide show that
represents my experience
3.3 Interpret and enforce FRC policies as measured by FRC records and formal
approval from the programming coordinator
I have always had a passion for working in the human services. I am fascinated by the
growing diversity of families and people, and I thoroughly enjoy working with others in
mentoring and helping roles. Life has presented me with several opportunities to work and/or be
in close contact with a diverse group of people and families. As a child, my family provided a
foster home for many children in DHS custody. Most of my foster brothers and sisters were
from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds, and a good deal of them had never been given the
experiences I had, and thus, had not internalized some of the life lessons that I had. By living in
close quarters with such diversity, I learned early-on how important it is to maintain an open
mind and be accepting of others. I think my experiences with my foster family helped me to
embrace and accept others and sparked my interest in working with people and families.
My current role as a Big Sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters has given me another
opportunity to work with an individual one-on-one, as well as interact with her family. My Little
Sister is a member of the Pawnee Nation. Working with her and her family has given me a new
appreciation for other cultures. It has also taught me the importance of understanding and
respecting cultural traditions and customs. As a mentor to an adolescent growing up in a bi-
cultural environment, I am challenged to incorporate both her traditions as a Native American
and my own traditions as a Caucasian female into what we do together in a non-intrusive way.
Our relationship is definitely reciprocal—we learn moral, ethical, racial, and societal lessons
through working together in daily activities like doing homework, going to the movies, and just
talking to each other.
Further, I currently serve as a tutor for a doctoral student here at OSU. He is from Korea, and in
the two years we have worked together, we have developed a friendship. I believe we
have both taught each other a lot—we have shared our cultures and traditions with each
other, and I think we have both gained great respect for each other, as well as a new
understanding of patience as we try to bridge the occasional language gap!
In addition to my experiences working with these individuals and families, I have had
experience working with non-profit agencies that deal with families. Through this volunteer
work, I have gotten to see a different side of what goes into working in the human services.
I just finished working with a team of volunteers on a fundraiser for Stillwater Domestic
Violence Services. I was a part of not only coming up with the idea for the fundraiser, but also
advertising, getting donations, attending auditions, and of course helping with the production of
the show. The fundraiser was a success; we raised almost $1500 for the families in the shelter.
My volunteering experiences at places like Payne County Youth Shelter and Mobile
Meals have helped me to be especially patient and tolerant. I have had several experiences in my
life that have taught me to maintain an open mind and to remember the importance of support
and a good role model. Through leading girls’ group time at the youth shelter, I developed skills
in both teaching and listening. Delivering meals with Mobile Meals has given me an opportunity
to reach out to those people who can no longer contribute in ways they used to. Though a shelter
for disadvantaged youth and delivering meals to the elderly may seem like totally different
experiences, they have taught me the same lesson—everyone needs to feel appreciated, and
reaching out to others can make a difference.
Coupled with my education in human development and family sciences, all of my
experiences have solidified my choice to be a professional in this field. I enjoy doing research
and learning about the needs of people at all cultural, developmental, and educational levels. As
a HDFS student, I have gained knowledge in subjects that range from parenting to resilience to
non-normative development. Working with people and families is important to me, and I am
looking forward to developing my understanding and knowledge of families. I expect this
internship to challenge me personally, academically, and professionally, and I look forward to
incorporating this experience into my life’s work.
The Family Resource Center (FRC) is a part of Residential Life at OSU. It is located on
Walnut Street in the middle of the family housing neighborhoods. The FRC provides all families
and students at OSU with resources to get settled on-campus and in the Stillwater area. It serves
over 500 families, and over 70% of the population served is made up of international students.
The FRC offers adult, child, and academic programming as well as English classes and referral
This site fits with the application of HDFS knowledge because it involves working
directly with families and individuals at different points in their development. It offers activities
and classes to enhance all aspects of life, whether they be recreational, cultural, educational,
developmental, or others. It also helps connects families and individuals in need with helpful
services and agencies in the community that can assist their needs. Further, the FRC implements
programming for children and adults, which especially interests me.
As an HDFS student, I have gained knowledge in subjects that range from parenting to
resilience to non-normative development. I enjoy doing research and learning about the needs of
people at all cultural, developmental, and educational levels, and I look forward to writing and
implementing new programs to assist people in whatever ways they need. I have already written
a program that teaches high school-aged students about child care responsibilities, and I hope
that through this internship I will gain even more experience in implementing programs with
school-aged children and adolescents. I believe the FRC is a perfect placement for me because it
gives me the chance to begin working with children and youth through program planning and
implementation. I have a special interest in those aspects of program design, and my job at the
FRC will give me very important hands-on experience. EXAMPLE
I also hope to benefit from this experience by gaining more knowledge about different
cultures. Working with diverse populations is important to me, and the FRC provides a
wonderfully diverse environment in which I can work and learn. I believe understanding
diversity and having a working knowledge of several cultural traditions and norms only makes
me a more approachable, well-rounded person and renders me able to work with more people. I
expect this experience to challenge me personally, academically, and professionally, and I look
forward to incorporating a variety of cultures into my work.