The greatest American Director George Lucas says and I quote “the best way to pursue happiness is to help other people. Nothing else will make one happier”.
People say that when god can’t be everywhere he sends social workers for their miracles to come true. The work done by social workers is exemplary and without any kind of selfish motive. They work and strive to make things better for other people by putting themselves last and the people in need first. They say that as time has passed people have gotten more greedy and selfish and can go to any extent to get what they want. Yes, that is true but not everyone is like that is what the social workers have proven over a long time with all their selfless work. Though the work of social workers is not appreciated they still work relentlessly to make this world a better place to live for all human beings.
We always see that when a celebrity or a famous person does the same kind of that social workers do when they are on all media platforms for days together and are praised for being so generous. But what people fail to realize is that this is the same kind of work social workers do though they might have so many personal problems themselves and are rarely found in the limelight. Every wondered why social workers are associated with god? That is because they are capable of doing anything to bring happiness and peace. Social workers go to places where people would think twice before going. They put themselves under such bad conditions so that they can get other people out of that situation. Their job is not easy or simple but they always make sure that it looks that way and people are always smiling. Social workers put humanity ahead of caste, creed, gender, religion, nationality, color and work long hours without any prejudice and treat everyone with equality.
Promotion and awareness have increased the number of social workers around the world and also have managed to shine more light on the work done by social workers. Social work should be part of every child’s educa6tion curriculum as they will understand and learn so many things that will help them be better citizens of the country. They will also be better individuals as they will learn so many morals and manners which often textbook education doesn’t provide. Being able to do a job that makes people’s lives better is a blessing that not everyone will get. One could go on and on about social workers and their amazing work through so many generations. Every small social work is counted and will make its impact. Social workers help every field that one can think of and that is what makes their profession so special.
We have a general idea of social workers let’s try to understand the definition of a professional social worker. Anybody can take up social work and become a social worker but to be a professional social worker requires a process like any other profession.
A professional social worker is someone who aims to enhance and better well-being by helping meet basic and complex needs and requirements of people or the community. The profession intends to make some kind of social change, development, cohesion, and increase empowerment.
Now that we know the definition of a professional social worker let us understand the types of social workers.
Types of social work
Administration and Management
These are social workers who provide their services to clients in the administration and working of their organization. They can do it in private, public, or any other kind of organization. To be this type of social worker one should be aware of the policies and services that they can provide as a social worker. They should also have a vision for the future, a great understanding of human behavior, and a sincere commitment to social work values and ethics.
Community and advocacy organization
These types of social workers work tirelessly for social justice. For efficient social work, practice advocacy plays a vital role. One of the key factors that a social worker working under this category is being good with numbers. Social workers in this category will have a lot on their plate and should be able to manage it. They will work, think and understand as a group and might as well be dealing with wealthy groups hence they have to be responsible and well aware of their surroundings and the people they are working with.
Senior citizens and the elderly
Social workers in this category have to be very patient and caring. They mainly have to be around the elderly and senior citizens so that they can live the last few years of their life living independently and with a lot of dignity. Such a service will help them increase their quality of life and participation in society. When working under these circumstances social workers will be having to deal with physical, psychological, social, and even the economic aspects of the elderly.
While it is important to help the people growing old it is also important to help people who are growing up. Social workers working in this section aim are to make sure that there is a safe and nurturing environment for children and youth. Social workers specialize in building the strength of families and they will be dealing with the most vulnerable group of children, youths, and families. Sometimes this process might fail and that is when social workers must protect the children and the youths in the families. Social workers should be able to provide a range of services to children and youth who have had cases of abuse or hard time.
Social workers working under this section are responsible for looking after parents who have children with disabilities. They should be able to work after reading the legal rights. Social workers are also supposed to teach the parents to be advocates and also teach children to be as independent as possible.
For a long time now social workers have been helping people deal with their health issues that are caused due to various reasons. During a lot of circumstances, we find social workers completely devoting their services to a single person or family, or community. Usually, we find social workers working in administration, planning, and policy. Social workers under various settings may conduct research, develop programs and help in other departments as well.
International social work
Social workers who are part of this department have a lot of diverse amount of work. They go to a great extent to enhance social well-being for which they work in various refugee camps, orphanages, schools, hospitals, and so on. They also have to work in various government-run operations, inter-governmental organizations, and even non-government organizations.
Justice and correction
Social workers working under this section have to be good. They have to deal with a lot of serious cases which might have an impact on their mental health. They will have to be careful and understand what they are dealing with. Social workers in this department are often asked to handle cases of justice and correction which include rape cases, police departments, and correctional facilities, and so on.
Mental health and clinical social work
One might not believe this but it is social workers who are one of the largest groups which provide mental health services. As said before social workers can go to any extent to make the lives of people better. Social workers tend to work in both rural and urban a setting which means that basic mental health facilities will be provided to everyone regardless of where they live. Under extreme circumstances sometimes it is only these social workers who are licensed providers of mental health services that make things so much easier for people who are living there and require such services.
Mental health and substance abuse social work
These are social workers who are particularly involved with providing help and services to individuals or families or communities in finding different methods to recover from substance abuse. Social workers who work in this section have to deal with a lot of horrible and rough things. Hence they must be responsible and very cautious about the surroundings and the people they are dealing and handling with. These skills of social workers help them to have an important perspective about the ways of treatment after making a detailed analysis of the families, neighborhood, culture, attitude, policies, and various other necessary observations. People working in social work regarding this are also trained to treat alcohol, tobacco, and other substances by doing a detailed studying of the case, providing therapy and counseling not just to the individuals but also to the families as well. They are also trained to help them with policies, resource management, advocacy for jobs and education, and other necessary needs.
Occupational and employee assistance program social work
Social workers who work under this department mainly deal with things related to re-modeling the organizations’ structure and methods to bring out more efficiency, creativity, productivity, and morale. They do not deal with the technical part of the organization but more of the psychological area of the organization. Sometimes social workers are included and made part of the group which involves job counseling.
Policy and planning
Social workers who are a part of this category of profession mainly deal with the analysis of programs, policies, and regulations and be able to provide the most effective solutions. They do an extensive study and observation about the related issues and conduct various researches with which they will be able to provide legislation, alternatives, and new methods. Sometimes social workers may join together and propose their organizational networks so that they can do their jobs much better.
Learning and progressing are a part and parcel of every individual’s life. The profession of a social worker is also one of them. It is a natural progression from working under somebody to having people working for you. Social workers with years of experience and work have paved into managing offices and boards of not just schools but also government offices of legislation to even the senate office. This is kind of progress with such great experience will not just benefit the individual but also the government and the country.
Social workers working in this department mainly have to manage and deal with welfare-related things such as planning, administering, programs related to finance, training, and evaluating standards. They also have to be able to manage the responsibilities of service deliveries. They should also have great creative thinking skills and good leadership skills.
As the name of the section suggests people working here do continuous research. They would have to have a master’s degree in social work to apply for this post. This work of research helps them to have effective practice. Though everyone may think that this is part of the course of the arts but it isn’t. It is the main of science based on evidence. Researching, understanding and analyzing are the most important part of any profession.
School social work
Social workers who work in schools act as the thread that connects the school, home, and society. Their responsibilities include helping children with their emotional, developmental, and educational needs. The practice of these social workers usually starts in private and public schools. A very small percentage of these social workers may also work in agencies dedicated to social work or even pre-school programs or residences which are dedicated to emotionally disturbed children.
These are some of the types of social work that have been recognized. With each day there are more and more categories in social work. Each of these positions has its duties and responsibilities with additional skills by the employee. Candidates who want to apply for any of these positions should check and read everything about it before applying for the job.
Qualifications of a social worker
There are no specific qualifications to be a social worker but the candidates need to have the required skills and should be able to perform all duties given very efficiently. To be a professional social worker they have to have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in the same field. Apart from this, they should have a licensed CPR- card with them.
Salary of a professional social worker
The salary of social workers who don’t have a professional degree will be based on their work and the amount of time, productivity, and efficiency that they have chosen during their course of the occupation. While the salary of a professional social worker is based on the place of occupation and the types of social work that they are doing. According to various reports, the basic median annual salary of a social worker in the United States of America is $61,230. It has been also found out that most of the salaries of social workers will be based on their level of education.
To conclude with a quote by Jana Stanfield where it’s said that “one cannot do all the good that the world needs but the world needs all the good that one can do”