Social Worker Career Overview

A social worker helps people in crisis by offering them counseling and guidance. They provide their services to children requiring foster homes, unemployed individuals and abandoned elderly people. They assist them to acquire financial support from the government, treatment or education.

What Do Social Workers Do?

Social workers provide counseling for their clients, either one-on-one or in a group. It is important to carefully assess clients to determine what their emotional distresses are. They also create strategies to treat the client. For these strategies to be successful, clients should be motivated to participate on their own.

A social worker is responsible for maintaining patient records. Since a social worker works with a client for a long time, it is important to keep records detailed and accurate. It is also their duty to guide patients in obtaining resources to assist themselves. They also refer clients to therapists, doctors and other health care professionals. Conducting social service programs is also part of a social worker’s duties. Examples of programs include nutrition education, reading skill classes, and work training programs. Aside from the patient, the social worker also includes the family in the management, educating families on ways to deal with their loved ones’ conditions.

Social Worker Salary

The average salary earned by social workers depends of their specialty area. Child, family and school social workers receive an average annual salary of $39,960. A mean wage of $46,300 per year is paid to medical and public health social workers. A mental health and substance abuse social workers earn a median yearly income of $38,200. The average annual salary of other social workers is $49,420.

How to Become a Social Worker

A social worker is required to have a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) to be able to practice. However, for better career opportunities, it is recommended to earn an advanced degree. For instance, to acquire a job in administration or social services policy, a master’s degree in social work is needed. A master’s degree equips social workers with knowledge to handle large caseloads, conduct clinical assessments, assume supervisory functions, and find innovative means of assembling social services. A master’s degree requires an individual to accomplish 900 hours of internship. A doctorate degree is required if one wishes to teach in colleges or universities.

Social workers can take on a number of different jobs. This depends on their area of specialty. A child, family and school social worker assists children and families to develop their roles socially and psychologically. Some social workers provide their service to the elderly population.

Another career opportunity includes policymakers and social work planners. They tackle certain issues such as homelessness, poverty, child abuse, substance abuse and violence. There are also social workers that centers on medical and public health.

They offer psychosocial assistance to individuals with acute, terminal and chronic infirmities. Not only do they coordinate with the patients, but they also involve caregivers and families in the process. With issues related to substance abuse; mental health and substance abuse social workers provide assistance. They render services such as social rehabilitation, outreach, individual and group therapy and crisis intervention.

Important Skills for a Social Worker

As a social worker, one should have skills in recognizing stressors and stressful conditions. Another tip is to apply any knowledge learned in assisting patients. It can really help alleviate the anxiety felt by the client. A social worker should empathize with the feelings of the patient. Don’t be too ambitious. It’s admirable for a social worker to take on a lot of cases. However, if these cases are not addressed efficiently, then it isn’t really admirable. It wouldn’t just cause stress to the clients, but to the social worker himself. Being a social worker is an emotionally demanding job. Make sure to share any problem with someone you consider trustworthy. It can get rid of an immense amount of stress.