In this pandemic time, more and more people are looking to advocate themselves as social workers since it’s serving the community for the greater good and a lot of benefits and reasons to choose it as our career path. Social workers gain advantages from their work to the public. We will discuss Career in Social Work in this article here. They tackle the social problem that arose in the community, helping those in need of care and service, spoke for those who have no voice in society, and social workers get paid well for their work. Let’s delve into the specific matters that make social work consider a career path.
What Social Workers Actually Do? | Career in Social Work
Social work focuses on helping and taking care of others who have difficulties accessing common social justice and human rights. Social work’s job has a direct impact on the challenges and problems that arise in the social community since they approach and solve the problem directly.
Some case of their works is advocating the rights of those who experienced injustice and abuse of human rights in the community to bring social justice to everyone, taking care of children who are neglected and carelessly thrown into the world thus have no one to take care of themselves with the purpose that every child must have the same equal treatment, helping individuals or families who are encountering substance abuse, and so forth.
The NASW (National Association of Social Worker) specified social work into some classifications, those are:
- Administration and Management Social Work: This type of social work is the one who manages the direction of the public or private organization in which oversees the public’s needs. Social work administrator and manager construct program that is needed by the people and evaluating the ongoing programs. Some social workers who work in the government create policies and analyze which areas need to be strengthened for support.
- Advocacy and Community Organization Social Work: Sometimes, some communities or individuals face injustice from powerful people. This is where this kind of social work comes to defend and ensure that everyone who faces injustice gets equal treatment in society and in front of the law.
- Aging Social Work: Social workers in this division are essentially taking care of elders. They support the elders to live a self-reliant way by empowering their psychological, physical, and financial aspects of fulfilling their needs.
- Child Welfare Social Work: Sadly, sometimes, some children are neglected and treated poorly by their parents. A social worker helps these defenseless children ensure that they get the love they deserve as a child and prevent any harm that will ever touch them.
- Developmental Disabilities Social Work: Families who have disabled members are also a focus for social work. This category’s social workers focus on helping the family understand their disabled member of the family’s constitutional rights. They also inform of any special facilities that can make the disabled member live as independently as possible. A social worker also finds families with similar conditions to support each other and improve their lives by developing the disabled member to live independently.
- Health Care Social Work: A health care social worker serves people with acute or chronic illness to help them to be able to overcome their health problems. They help to access better healthcare and also solve serious problems faced by individuals with chronic illness.
- International Social Work: The responsibilities of international social workers fluctuate based on the work field’s needs. For instance, in the territories of war or natural disaster, social workers come to the refugees’ camp to help provide the victims’ physical and psychological needs. In terms of domestic works, they support the government’s campaign on the international stage, which connects with the people’s well-being.
- Justice and Corrections Social Work: The function of this social work is to advocate legal proceedings in courts, police departments, prisons, and crisis centers. Social workers are actively involved in helping the inmates on rehabilitation to give them therapy to restore their state before returning to the community. Social workers also help people in parole or probation find job training and related parole or probation people’s related needs.
- Mental Health and Clinical Social Work: One of the country’s largest social workers is Mental Health and Clinical. Their role focuses on providing services directly to those experiencing mental illness such as anxiety, depression, a relationship issue, and another type of mental disorders. Most of them give their services in rural or urban areas in which no such services available to help the people who have a mental illness.
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Work: Like the previous category, this kind of social work deals with the peoples’ mental health caused by substance abuse. Social workers find ways to help the victims recover from their abuse or addiction to substances. They ecologically treat the victims by focusing on the victims’ relation to their family, communities, finding the right support systems, and educating them on the regulations.
- Occupational and Employee Assistance Social Work: In terms of refreshing the corporations or business’s structure, systems, or methods to improve productivity, morale, efficiency, and creativity, this type of social work is the one that serves it. Social workers provide counseling, help employees get by their stress, manage mental health services in corporations, and provide services in employee-related issues.
- Policy and Planning Social Work: This social work category deals with policies, regulations, and programs made for the community. They identify social problems that occur in the community, and they carry out study research to create a program, regulation, or policy that will resolve the social problem. They work with lawmakers, policymakers, and the media to greatly influence the community and the government.
- Politics Social Work: Social workers in the political stage are leaders from activism social workers who are promoted to support the social work values made in the community. Congress has Congressional Social Work Caucus that focuses on working on the important issues related to social work.
- Public Welfare Social Work: The public welfare social workers manage a large sector of public services. They provide services and facilities for the most vulnerable people in the community, such as the disabled, homeless people, and acute or chronic health conditions. Social workers also analyzing situations in the public services, planning programs and facilities for the public, managing financials, supervising staff, evaluating and setting the standard of public service in the community to improve it for the better.
- Research Social Work: Commonly, this type of social work consists of academics pursuing their social work degree. They conduct studies regarding the existing social work in the community and identify whether it is still effective and useful for the community, provides solutions. Academics also collects data and use their knowledge to help provide successful social work practice.
- School Social Work: School social workers help the problem faced by students in terms of their development, emotion, and education needs. They observe the students’ environment to prevent abuse, truancy, substance use, violation, teenage pregnancy, and school dropout.
Why you Should Consider to Become a Social Worker?
Now that we have a better image of what social workers do, let’s discuss why you should choose it as a career path. Even though it looks like common work, you should remember that social work requires you to be passionate about what you do, be excessively patient, and have full dedication. All of this because of one thing, you put the community first ahead of yourself. Here are a few reasons and benefits you could earn if you become a social worker.
- A Feel of Self-Pleasure: Working as a social worker means that your work is solely to help others in need of help and service, which you can provide. This means that when you succeed at it, and the people are helped by your efforts, apart from the salaries you get, there is also a sense of self-achievement for you have made an impact on other people’s life. Forbes acknowledges this, and they listed social work as the top 10 most meaningful jobs.
- The Needs of Social Workers is Rising: According to The Guardian, the government in the United States and countries worldwide spend their national allocation more and more for social work since it is proven to work and help create a better and safer community.
- Potential Benefits: Even though money isn’t the only consideration to choose a career, we need to realize that we work to fulfill our needs, and the government rewards their social workers considerably. As stated by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median salary for a social worker in 2019 is $49,470, where the highest 10% of the social worker made more than $81.400 yearly, and the lowest 10% of the social worker made less than $30.750. Since this number is the midpoint of data distribution, the social workers’ salary depends on their position (healthcare, educational, political, military, mental health, etc.), educational background (bachelors or masters), license (associate, bachelor’s, master’s, advanced generalist and clinical), experience and geographic area. As for the geographic area, the BLS stated that the social worker’s salaries in each state are different. As of March 2019, the highest paying state of social work in California reaches $79.620.
How to Become a Social Worker?
Apart from psychological skills, being a social worker requires you to behave expertise in social work. To apply as a social worker, a person must have:
- Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in social work: If you are convinced that social work is your career path, you could obtain the Bachelors of Social Work (BSW) in the undergraduate studies and continue to obtain the Masters of Social Work (MSW) afterward. However, if you are not really sure about choosing it, you can do it later in your life, just like Phyllis Babrove did in her life when she chooses a career as a social worker at the age of 40.
- Completed the required fieldwork hour: Fieldwork time is the best time to learn about social work and to have impressions and visions towards what you will working on in the future. The time of fieldwork is varied on the type of work. In general, the required fieldwork time is between 450-900 hours to fulfill the degree requirements.
- State social work license: A social work license is proof of your credibility as a social worker. Even though not all social work types require a license, those social workers who approach the community directly must have a state license before they can help the people. The requirements and regulations of a license vary in every state. You can check your state requirements here. Once you obtain your license, you can demonstrate your expertise and improve your work by learning in the field for your social work period.
Becoming a Social Worker
Social work is the type of work that requires strong communication abilities, active listening, and analytical thinking to deliver solutions to the problem in the community. Social workers act as an important role in the community to help the people who have problems directly by giving therapy, counsel, observation, facilities, services, and solutions to tackle their problems. Moreover, they also help the people indirectly by giving treatments such as studying the community’s problems, creating the regulations, and supervising them, advocating the government to campaign to make policies that support the value of social working. At this point, if you want to inspire change, help the people in need, speak for those who do not have a voice in the community, and value these work ethics, then social working is the right choice for your career path.
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