Internship Opportunities

As of April 1, 2021 Families First and the Children's Bureau will merge. Please send any internship inquiries to Pat Anderson at


Who is eligible for an internship at Families First?

We accept applications from any undergraduate or graduate students seeking a practicum or internship that is related to their academic degree or fulfills their school requirements. We will only accept students as interns if they will receive academic credit for their internship.

Applicants must meet the following qualifications and conditions:

  • For direct service internships, applicants are enrolled in a CACREP-accredited program.
  • Applicants are supervised and monitored by faculty and field instructors on an ongoing basis during their internship.
  • Applicants are required to fulfill a specific time commitment for their internship/practicum.

What internship opportunities does Families First offer?

We offer the following internships at our downtown Indianapolis office:

Master's level direct service positions:

For these positions, you will be interacting directly with our clients in one of our following programs:

  • Substance use education & outpatient treatment
  • Domestic violence survivor counseling & advocacy
  • Mental health counseling for individuals, couples & families
  • In-home family preservation counseling
  • Crisis & Suicide Prevention Line
 Bachelor's level direct service positions:
  • Survivor Advocacy
  • Case management
  • Crisis & Suicide Prevention Line

* Associate's level students are precluded from direct service internships.

NOTE: For confidentiality reasons, our agency does not permit interns to conduct counseling and therapy with our clients on a one-to-one basis. We do permit interns to record or videotape counseling and therapy sessions with our clients with the client's permission.

Indirect service positions:

For these positions, you will assist our agency’s capacity building activities.

  • Development
  • Marketing 
  • Public Relations
  • Business Support

When can I intern at Families First?

You can intern at Families First during the school year (fall/spring semester) and over the summer for a total of one or two semesters. All applicants are required to indicate on their application when they would like to intern and for how many semesters.

How do I apply for an internship at Families First?

The application process for interns will depend on the type of position you will be pursuing. Please make sure you follow the instructions outlined below when applying for our internship positions.

Direct service positions:

  1. Ask a faculty member (practicum coordinator, advisor, etc.) at your school to email Brenda Springer ( and  Pat Anderson ( to initiate the placement process. The faculty sponsor must also send Brenda an affiliation agreement, an internship placement contract, or a similar document outlining the requirements of your internship or practicum if one is not already in place. We cannot place you at our organization without this type of document.
  2. Once we have determined that placement is possible, complete the internship application (link on this page). Please do not send us your application before your faculty sponsor contacts us. Please do not submit an application before Families First has notified you to fill out an application.
  3. Before a placement can be secured, prospective students will undergo either a face-to-face or phone interview.
  4. Once placement has been confirmed, you will be required to fill out paperwork so that we can process your background investigation. Background checks can take at least a week to process.
  5. Attend group orientation for interns.

Indirect service positions:

Students interested in indirect service internships must first submit an internship application.

Please send your completed application to Brenda Springer at

Where can I find the internship application form?

For direct service internships, click here to download your application.

For indirect service internships, click here to download your application.

What are the deadlines for submitting my internship application?

We are accepting Summer  2021 internship applications at this time. The deadline for submitting spring internship applications is  April 3, 2021(Saturday). We will not accept or consider applications after this deadline.

If you have general questions regarding the Families First’s internship program, please contact Brenda Springer at