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Internships at DSS

The South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) is committed to it's mission of serving South Carolina by promoting the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and vulnerable adults, helping individuals achieve stability and strengthening families. The mission is accomplished through the core principles of competence, courage and compassion. 

SCDSS provides a work atmosphere that encourages active participation on the part of students. As an extension of the classroom, DSS internships provide mentoring from credentialed staff, such that the intern is the primary beneficiary of experiential learning opportunities. The goal for each student is to conclude their internship experience “career ready.” We are committed to providing interesting and challenging work opportunities in a pleasant, helpful environment.

DSS offers internship opportunities for those aspiring to pursue careers in the social services field and supporting agency functions.Upon approval of internship applications, candidates are placed based on availability within DSS program divisions. Our internship field practicums are quite popular and in high demand! Please submit your application with the following suggested timelines in order to allow sufficient time for processing and placement while spots are still available.
  • Fall Semester Placement: Apply by May 30th
  • Spring Semester Placement: Apply by October 30th
  • Summer Semester Placement: Apply by February 28th

Internship Application Process

  1. Click to access the DSS Internship Application Portal. Next, click the "Create an Account" button in the top right corner of the page.
  2. Your application will be shared with the HR Analyst and Workforce Developer to coordinate necessary paperwork approvals, and to locate an internship for you in one of our county offices, regional or state offices.
  3. If an internship spot is available, the HR Analyst will arrange for you to complete fingerprints and background checks.
  4. Upon receipt of a clear background check, County DSS HR Liaison or State Office Program Manager advises student of their internship start date, and with the Office of General Counsel point of contact for gaining signatures for the DSS Internship Site Affiliation Agreement.


Available Internships

Child Welfare

  • Child Welfare Programs
    • Child Protective Services
    • Foster Care
    • Adoptions
    • Prevention
    • Intake
  • Child Welfare Operations
    • Child Health
    • Child Welfare
    • Trafficking Prevention & Support
    • Permanency
    • Safety Team 
The DSS Child Welfare Scholars BSW Tuition Assistance Program for DSS employees and BSW student future employees provides financial tuition assistance to selected undergraduate-level social work major students entering their junior year at the University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, or Winthrop University who are committed to working with the children and families served by DSS in Child Welfare Programs for a minimum of two-years after graduation. This includes DSS child welfare employees who do not currently have a bachelor’s degree.

The DSS Child Welfare Employees MSW Scholars Tuition Assistance Program provides financial tuition assistance to selected DSS employees seeking a Master's in Social Work at the University of South Carolina or Winthrop University who will commit to continue working with the children and families served by SCDSS in Child Welfare Services for a minimum of two years after graduation.


Adult Protection

  • Intake
  • Adult Protection Services
  • Domestic Violence Program

Economic Services

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF; cash assistance, employment, and training services)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; food stamps, employment and training services)
  • Food and Nutrition Programs (Emergency food assistance, programs for seniors, healthy eating activities)
  • SC Voucher Program (Childcare assistance)

Child Care

  • Early Care & Education: Federal Childcare Funding Management/Accessibility/Affordability/Quality-of-Care

Child Support Services

  • Central Program Operations
  • Central Parent Locate Service
  • Employer Services Unit
  • Case Initiation Unit
  • Regional Operations

Divisions in Central Office

Office of General Counsel

  • Internal and County Legal Offices (Law School Interns)

Office of the Inspector General (OIG)

  • Criminal Records Unit
  • Investigative Services Case Intake Unit

Communications and External Affairs

Human Resources

  • Recruitment Unit
  • Orientation Prep
  • Policy and State Regulation Research
  • Wellness Activities
  • HR Trainings for Managers/Staff

Staff Development and Training

  • Employee Training, Certification, and Professional Development

Quality Assurance and Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI)

Strategic Innovation and Planning

  • Policy
  • Safety Culture
  • Child Fatality and Federal Reporting

Accountability, Data, and Research

  • Metrics/Analysis/Reporting/Surveys

Information Technology

  • Network Operations/Applications/Communications/Tools/Support 


Internal Audits

  • Reviews/Audits/Consultation/Compliance/Statistics/Reports/Analysis/Process Improvement




Child Welfare Services Transformation

Best Outcomes for Children and Families

Do you have a complaint regarding services being provided to a child by a state agency? Please submit your complaint by phone (1-800-206-1957) or an electronic submission form here with the South Carolina Department of Children's Advocacy.