Social Work Internship Program - VA Caribbean Healthcare System
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VA Caribbean Healthcare System


Social Work Internship Program

The VA Caribbean Healthcare System's (VACHS) Social Work Internship Program has served as practice scenario since 1973 and graduated more than 280 students. Each year, over 10 social work students are trained in our facilities. The VA offers students training in a comprehensive health care system, providing exposure to a broader range of patients, problems and treatment programs than would be available from a single agency.

The VACHS maintains affiliations with the School of Social Work at the following Universities: University of Puerto Rico, Interamerican University Metro Campus and recently with Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico.  These Universities are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The Commission on Accreditation (COA) of the CSWE is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Authority to accredit baccalaureate and master’s degree programs in social work education in the United States and its territories.  In the medical center and community-based outpatient clinics practice setting, Social Work students are responsible for direct patient care under the supervision of Social Work preceptors. Students acquire clinical social work skills and develop the ability to make a psychosocial diagnosis, establish treatment goals, determine and implement various treatment modalities including Evidence Base Treatments and facilitate change toward treatment goals. 

In addition, our Internship offers an Interdisciplinary Rotation: Advance Clinical Practice and Research Development in the treatment of PTSD SUD Comorbidities (ACP&R).  This interdisciplinary rotation values the reciprocal process of empirically supported treatments informing clinical care and clinical observation informing clinical research. This is essential to maintaining the vitality of behavioral health as a science in the changing health care environment.  Our clinicians learn this approach from the perspectives of training in evidenced based treatments, program outcome evaluation, and clinical research. One of the most important aspects of this rotation is the cross-training in an interdisciplinary and integrated treatment approach.

The Professional self-awareness and the development of the professional self is also an integral part of social work education.
Students develop a professional social work identity and a sense of practice competency by being active participants in the learning process. 

Our Mission:  

To provide quality patient care by assisting Veterans and their families in addressing the psychosocial, emotional, financial and environmental problems that interfere with their overall adjustment to illness and add to the stress of daily living.

We achieve this through the provision of high quality of services within a continuum of health care as a Veteran transition among in-patient, ambulatory and community based services. 

Applications Forms must be received by School Program Field Coordinators from each University.

For more questions you may contact:

Carlos Camacho-Amaro, MSW; Cth PE, CPT & CBT-D Certified Provider | Internship Program Director

VA Caribbean Health Care System
Casia #10 San Juan, PR 00921
Tel. 787-641-7582 Ext. 12206

Office Hours: Mondays to Fridays 7:30 am – 4:00 pm

The benefits for Interns may include: Stipends, Health Insurance, Annual and Sick Leaves Balances, Holidays and Administrative Leaves for educational purposes and teaching Hospital Activities among others.

Our Vision:

We will be REMEMBERED and RESPECTED for:

  • Our Sincere Commitment to Provide the best Services

  •  Our Respect Towards our Clients and Peers

  •  Our Compassionate Treatment of the Frail 

  •  Our Advocacy for Veteran’s Rights

Service Philosophy

Social Work Services exists to meet the psychosocial needs of Veterans and their families and to enable them to use available resources to attain their highest level of independent function. The efforts of Social Work Service staff demonstrate that the customers’ needs are paramount, each customer is individualized, the therapeutic approach is based on professional ethics and standards, and that customers and staff function in systems that require attention to interaction and interdependence of the system’s elements. The desired outcomes are enhancement of veteran’s psychosocial function, overall wellbeing, improved problem-solving/coping skills, and ability to apply sound health maintenance practices.