What is a Family Social Worker?

A Family Social Worker is a specialized type of Social Worker. Also known as: Family Support Social Worker, Child and Family Social Worker, Family Service Worker, Family Case Work Aide.

A family social worker helps families and individuals get through difficult times or get additional support. They help by letting people know that there are special services available to them, and will then go ahead and make plans for people to utilize them. It is a rewarding career, as there is the satisfaction of seeing individuals or families get back on the right track, and restore harmony in their lives. They work for nonprofit organizations, for-profit social service agencies, and for various levels of government.

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What does a Family Social Worker do?

There are a great number of people that grow up in dysfunctional households, with the dysfunction ranging from mild to extreme. There are people who are able to overcome the stumbling blocks put in front of them as a child, and go on to have a positive and healthy adult life. On the other hand, some people will often repeat the negative behaviours that they learned growing up, and will have trouble forming proper and healthy relationships with those close to them. These negative behaviours put a lot of stress on family members, and they sometimes need help in knowing how to deal with certain situations within their family, or with problems they are facing on a personal level. A family social worker can help to restore harmony by providing services to families in crisis.

A family social worker has many job titles, including case work aide, clinical social work aide, family service assistant, social work assistant, addictions counsellor assistant, and human service worker. They serve diverse populations with a wide range of problems. Their work varies, depending on the clients they serve.

A family social worker will typically do the following:

  • Work under the direction of psychologists or others who have more education or experience
  • Help determine what type of help their clients need - whether it be financial, addiction, mental illness, medical, or stress related help
  • Work with clients and other professionals to develop a treatment plan
  • Coordinate services provided to clients by their or other organizations
  • Research services available to their clients in their communities
  • Help clients complete paperwork to apply for assistance programs
  • Monitor clients to ensure services are provided appropriately

What is the workplace of a Family Social Worker like?

Family social workers generally work full time, and some work nights and weekends. They work in offices, clinics, hospitals, group homes, or shelters. Some travel within their communities to see clients. The following industries employed the most family social workers:

  • Individual and family services - approx 21%
  • Nursing and residential care facilities - approx 16%
  • Community and vocational rehabilitation services - approx 13%
  • Large government, excluding education and hospitals - approx 12%
  • Local government, excluding education and hospitals - approx 12%

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