An introduction to internship placements as part of the pedagogical project of the Social Institute in Lille

The initial training course for social workers is composed of 6 semesters. In order to foster the student’s progress, each semester is built around one objective, declined in various modules, in relation with 4 key capabilities:

  1. Professional intervention in social work
  2. Social expertise
  3. Professional communication in social work
  4. Engaging in institutional and inter-institutional partnerships.

Overview of the training course : 3 years

Theoretical classes : 1740 hours

Internship placements : 1680 hours

1st year

Discovering social work

September to February

Theoretical classes

March to June

Internship placement

280 hours

2nd year

Discovering social work and acquiring professional skills

September to January

Theoretical classes

January to July

Internship placement

650 hours

3rd year

Strengthening professional skills and affirming professional identity

September to March

Internship placement

750 hours

April to June

Theoretical classes,

Preparation for final certification exams

1st year internship (280 hours)

This internship placement aims at apprehending the reality and the complexity of social work structures. It allows students to gain a concrete knowledge of social intervention, of the clients’ social environment, and of social policies and schemes in a given area, in order to discover professional practices and partnerships.

It allows for a first approach of professional social intervention, by gaining awareness of the living conditions of a population in a given area, and through a reflexive approach on professional issues.

By the end of the first year, the student will have refined his understanding of the notions of territory, of team work, and partnerships.

2nd year internship placement (1680 hours)

This internship placement aims at familiarizing the student with social intervention in a multidisciplinary context. It represents a first step towards the acquisition of skills in the four aforementioned key skills areas.

The objectives of the 2nd-year-internship are as follows:

Capability #1: professional intervention in social work

Individual social work:

  • Learning to engage with a person, to understand them, evaluate their needs, to be in a supporting relationship
  • Learning to analyze and elaborate a support plan with the client
  • Learning to evaluate the impact of the intervention on /with the client

Social group work:

  • Learning to identify the needs of several individuals and getting them involved around a common issue;
  • Learning to develop a project with a group of clients;
  • Learning to evaluate the impact of the project

Capability #2: social expertise

  • Being able to link theoretical knowledge with on-the-job experience (internship placement)
  • Gaining a detailed knowledge of the social environment and the public.

Capability #3: professional communication in social work

  • Learning to elaborate, manage and transmit information: written papers and reports (selecting the appropriate data according to the recipient), new technologies (IT databases, power point presentations…), public speaking.

Capability #4: Engaging in institutional and inter-institutional partnerships.

  • Learning to identify various partners and engaging with them.
  • Understanding the added value of partnership, and the strategies of other institutions working in a given area,
  • Deepening knowledge of social work policies and schemes.

By the end of the second year, the student will be able to question in an appropriate way the issues he encounters during the course of his internship, and to identify very clearly the clients’ challenges. He must also have acquired the required basic skills in professional intervention, and understand the added value of working in a multidisciplinary context.

3rd year internship (750 hours)

This internship placement allows students to implement the methods of social work (individual and group work, communication and partnership), while remaining respectful to the client and abiding by the missions and framework of the institution.

By the end of the 3rd year, the student must have acquired the required skills for professional practice in social work, and should be able to analyze and self-reflect on his practice – thus affirming his professional identity.