What is social work?
Nobody’s life is perfect – nearly everyone realizes that. However, issues in some people’s lives may be extraordinarily difficult to straighten out, and these people may need help doing so.
Social workers are professionals that can help people resolve difficult issues, and improve their well-being and their quality of life. These professionals typically work with individuals and groups of individuals that are experiencing crises in their lives.
Crises and issues that social workers help people resolve may vary. In , however, these professionals might help individuals cope with problems such as
- Poverty and unemployment
- Addiction and substance abuse
- Medical problems
- Mental health disorders
- Unplanned pregnancy
- Behavioral disorders
Depending on their specialties, social workers might also work with several different demographics and types of people. For instance, some work directly with children and teens, while others might work with adults and the elderly.
Since the main duty of social workers is to improve the quality of people’s lives, these professionals typically have several responsibilities. Primarily, though, social workers act as advocates for their clients, speaking for them in their time of need.
Why do we need social workers?
In order to cope with life’s hard times, some people may need a little hand up. Thankfully, there are a number of programs and services that are designed to help those in need. Unfortunately, many people may have a difficult time accessing these programs and services, and some may not even know that they exist.
social workers, on the other hand, can help people during their times of need. These professionals offer a helping hand and support when people need it the most. As a social worker, you will have the rare opportunity to work out their issues and help them take steps to move in the right directions in their lives.
What do social workers do?
The exact duties of social workers may vary and will typically depend on what types of social workers they are. Here are just a few common examples.
- Child and family social workers typically only have children as clients. These types of social workers act as advocates for children who might need help coping with any number of problems, such as poverty or abuse.
- Geriatric social workers ly help elderly clients, who may be having trouble adjusting to such things as failing health and decreased income opportunities.
- Mental health social workers work with individuals who have mental health issues that may be interfering with their everyday lives.
- Addiction social workers attempt to help individuals struggling with addictions overcome their vices. They may arrange for addicts to check into rehabilitation centers, for instance, or refer them to addiction counselors.
No matter what type of social workers they are, however, most social workers do perform similar tasks.
First of all, a social worker will meet with and interview clients. This enables them to assess their situation and determine what needs to be done to make their lives better. Most social workers will also help develop goals and plans for their clients, outlining the steps that they need to take for this to happen. They will also help them find services and assistance that they may need. For instance, a family social worker trying to help a poverty stricken mother feed her children after a recent job loss may help her apply for welfare benefits, such as cash assistance, housing assistance, and food stamp benefits. The social worker will also help the woman take steps to find employment, so she can work toward becoming more self-sufficient.
In , a social worker also acts as a rock for clients during their times of need. He may offer counseling services, for instance, as well as moral support and encouragement.
Where do social workers find employment?
If you are interested in pursuing a social work career, you will often be able to find employment in a number of different settings.
Social workers are often employed by government agencies, at the local, state and federal levels, for instance. They also work in medical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, mental health clinics, child welfare agencies, assisted living home, and schools, among other facilities.
What are the education requirements for a social work career?
Typically, most individuals pursuing social work careers will usually start by completing bachelor’s degrees in social work or human services. Most states also require social workers to be licensed as well, which involves completing a graduate degree program as well as several hours of supervised work experience. The exact amount of work experience required in your state may differ, but many states require social workers to complete roughly 3,000 hours of supervised fieldwork before they can become licensed.
What is the salary of a social worker?
The U.S. Bureau of labor Statistics estimated that social workers had a median salary of $53,900 in 2011. However, your salary as a social worker may be more or less than this, depending on your specialty and where you find employment.