First Step is currently accepting micro and macro interns for Fall 2024 Placements.

Please read the following information on this page to ensure your institution’s requirements and your personal and professional interests align with First Step’s intern program, services, mission, and values.

If you are interested in interning with First Step, please contact your faculty liaison at your respected institution. First Step often has direct partnerships and referral procedures with the local schools. If your specific program requires you to conduct the first contact, you may email to see if we can accommodate your program.


Thank you for your interest in our internship program. First Step is a non-profit in Wayne County providing comprehensive and trauma-informed services to individuals and families impacted by domestic and/or sexual violence.

Internship opportunities are available to students both at the Bachelors and Masters degree levels in micro and macro social work fields. Spots are limited and our program is competitive. Often, more positions are available to BSW’s than MSW’s due to supervision requirements.

A variety of placements are available to students within various First Step Programs. You are not required to be a social work major to be eligible for an internship with First Step. Other degrees former interns had pursued include, but are not limited to: psychology, non-profit management, criminal justice, child development, and so forth. However, we are not often able to accommodate folx who require direct service hours (such as counseling degrees).

What You Can Expect

After passing both a program and placement interview, and being offered a placement, ALL intern candidates will need to undergo background checks with First Step.

Out of obligation to the clients we serve and our community stakeholders, we have a rigorous screening process that includes:

  • State of Michigan Criminal Background Check through ICHAT
  • National Criminal Check through SentryLink (if applicable)
  • National and State Sex Offender Registry Check
  • Copy of Valid Driver’s License or State ID
  • Copy of Proof of Auto Insurance
  • Driving Record Check
  • Central Registry Clearance through DHHS/CPS
  • 3 professional references

First Step will provide you with the foundational training you will need to be successful.  You must attend all Core Skills Training dates within a series within your first semester. Dates will be provided as they are made available, but are typically held in January, May, and September over 4 segments; one short evening 5:30-830p and 3 consecutive, full days (Friday, Saturday & Sunday), 9a to 5p at First Step’s Wayne office (4400 Venoy Rd.).

Attendance of ALL Core Skills Training sessions listed within a series is mandatory. 

Topics include:

  • First Step Programs & Policies
  • Empathy, Diversity, & Inclusion
  • Trauma Stewardship
  • Overview of Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault
  • Effects of Violence on Children
  • Safety Planning & Lethality
  • Survivors & the Legal System
  • Crisis Intervention & Advocacy
  • Crisis Response Program

Internship Placements (Availability Varies)

Depending on placement, intern role and responsibility may include:

  • Providing one-on-one counseling, advocacy, and group sessions to adults and/or children affected by domestic and sexual violence.
  • Offering support to our Children’s Program team through intakes, nurturing, group sessions, community education and presentations.
  • Answering the 24 hour helpline providing support to survivors, supplying information regarding services, crisis intervention and safety planning.
  • Providing criminal justice and legal advocacy through police departments, court houses, and other community sites.

Types of Placements:

  • Community Response Program (Legal Services – 3 semester minimum and MSW only)
  • Crisis Response Program
  • Residential Program
  • Domestic Violence Non-Residential Adult Program (advocacy and/or counseling)
  • Sexual Assault Non-Residential Adult Program (advocacy and/or counseling)
  • Children’s Program
  • Transitional Supportive Housing Program
  • Philanthropy, Volunteer, and Community Engagement Programs

Schedule and Availability

Specialty Internships

In-person internships at First Step typically ask for 2 full interning days (instead of multiple, short shifts) but sometimes our program can accommodate a unique schedule during the work week. Shifts are usually scheduled between Monday and Friday 8a-8p. We have limited capacity to take interns who require weekend placements.

Instead of two 8 hour shifts, other options could include one 8 hour and two 4 hour shifts over three different days OR one 10 hour shift and one 6 hour shift. Schedules are worked out with the task supervisor.

It is best practice, but not required for all, for students to have the flexibility to work into the evening at least once a week (i.e. one of their placement days). This is especially so for students in the children’s, crisis response, and residential program.


First Step is willing to create unique internship opportunities for those with specialized degrees looking to support First Step’s mission.

For example, finance students may have the opportunity to work with our Finance Department. We encourage all folx to reach out and discuss options and interests.

Want to learn more?

If you are interested in learning more about our internship program, qualifications or application process click the link below to reach out to us!

Email Us!