Also known as: Direct Service Social Worker.
There are two main types of social workers: direct-service social workers, who help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives, and clinical social workers, who diagnose and treat mental, behavioural, and emotional issues. A social worker can work in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, hospitals, and private practices.
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A social worker helps people cope with challenges in every stage of their lives. They help with a wide range of situations, such as adopting a child or being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Social workers work with many populations, including children, people with disabilities, and people with addictions.
Direct-service social workers typically do the following:
Clinical social workers typically do the following:
Many clinical social workers work in private practice. Some work in a group practice with other social workers or mental health professionals. Others work alone in a solo practice. In private practice, clinical social workers often do administrative and recordkeeping tasks. Among these tasks is working with clients and insurance companies to receive payment for their services. In addition, social workers market their practice to bring in new clients and to network with other professionals who may recommend them.
A bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) is the most common requirement for entry-level positions. However, some employers may hire workers who have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as psychology or sociology. BSW programs prepare students for direct-service positions such as caseworker or mental health assistant. These programs teach students about diverse populations, human behaviour, and social welfare policy. All programs require students to complete supervised fieldwork or an internship. Some positions, including those in schools and in healthcare, frequently require a master’s degree in social work (MSW). All clinical social workers must have an MSW.
MSWs generally take two years to complete. Some programs allow those with a BSW to earn their MSW in one year. MSW programs prepare students for work in their chosen specialty and develop the skills to do clinical assessments, manage a large number of clients, and take on supervisory duties. All programs require students to complete supervised fieldwork or an internship.
A BSW is not required to enter MSW programs. In fact, a degree in almost any major is acceptable. However, coursework in psychology, sociology, economics, and political science are recommended. Licensure varies by jurisdiction. All regions have some type of licensure or certification requirement. All require clinical social workers to be licensed. However, some regions provide exemptions for clinical social workers who work in government agencies.
Becoming a licensed clinical social worker usually requires a master’s degree in social work and two years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience after graduation. After completing their supervised experience, clinical social workers must pass an exam to be licensed.
Although most jurisdictions also have licenses for nonclinical social workers, these licenses are often optional.
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Every social worker is uniquely qualified to help people right in their own environment, by considering the impact of all the different aspects of that person’s life and working to ensure that person’s well-being, prevent crises, and to counsel individuals, families, and communities to get people the help they need from the best resources available.
The role of a social worker varies a bit by setting. Despite the variable roles, some skills and qualities are consistently needed.
This work can be scary, as it is about people’s lives. I am happy to have this opportunity to tell you some things I wish someone had explained to me when I started working as a child protective services worker.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. The profession is expected to grow by 25% between 2010 and 2020. More than 650,000 people currently hold social work degrees.
Are you looking for a career that is rewarding yet challenging? Do you want to contribute to society by helping people overcome difficulties and improve their lives?
Social Workers are usually employed in hospitals, community health centers, mental health clinics, schools, advocacy organizations, government departments, social service agencies, child welfare settings, family service agencies, correctional facilities, social housing organizations, family courts, employee assistance programs and private counselling, school boards, and consultation agencies.