What Exactly Does A Social Worker Do?

There is just so much chaos going on in the world nowadays, and we do need people to help make it a better and more livable place to be in—social workers. With the upsurge of incidents of people—most especially in juveniles—facing domestic violence, interpersonal crises, or exclusion in societies everywhere, the role of social workers is increasingly gaining significance.

They mostly provide support to their clients so as to enable them to help themselves pull through certain critical situations; such is often achieved by maintaining a professional relationship with their clients, advocating for their rights, and acting as their guides on various aspects that are tremendously affecting their lives.

The Working Environment

The working environment of social workers varies depending on the case at hand. With their relatively wide scope of work, their working environment will, in most cases, be dynamic. They work within a framework of laws and procedures that regulate their activities. This is important in ensuring that these workers do not misuse their mandate and take advantage of civilians.

They are often involved in supporting individuals, groups within a certain community, and families. These services are usually provided in an individual’s home, hospitals, schools or voluntary organizations, and public sector premises.

Common Work Activities

The job description of social workers is wide. This is because the law in most countries specifies that social work should cut across as many disciplines as possible, so as to be able to help as many people as possible. This means that the social work cuts across many disciplines. Some of the common duties entrusted to social workers include the following:

  • Social workers are involved in completing assessments together with medical staff in order to meet the established standards and timescales expected of these professionals.
  • They are also involved in giving information and counseling services to people in need of these services.
  • Social workers are often consulted in determining the best course of action for situations affecting some of their clients.
  • They are also sometimes called upon to give evidence in court regarding various aspects in their discipline.
  • Social workers also work with other agencies and make referrals to other professionals in cases where they are not able to handle a particular specialized case. This is important in ensuring that the clients get the best services available in the field.
  • To improve their service and skills, social workers also take part in various trainings and team meetings. These are held to ensure that they are able to handle emerging challenges.

The Type of Clients

Social workers mostly work with all kinds of people.  However the social worker most commonly portrayed in mass media are those who work with juveniles, who are immune to the sanctions of law—imprisonment. School dropouts and truants also fall under this category. Other common groups are the alcohol and drug abusers. This is a prevalent problem especially among the young people because fighting addiction is usually very difficult. Social workers also work with the elderly, people with physical and learning disabilities, and the homeless.

Requirements to Being a Social Worker

One needs to have a bachelor degree in social work before becoming a social worker; this is the minimum requirement for the profession. Nevertheless, there are individuals who have degrees in psychology, sociology, and education that are able to find entry-level jobs in the field in some states. A master’s degree is required if you want to provide therapy services and a doctorate is needed if there is an interest in teaching university-level or doing research.  Most social workers opt to go for their Masters in social work as the salary of a social worker with a Masters is about $15,000 greater than if not.

Social worker qualifications vary from state to state, but in most counties, one needs to be licensed, registered or certified to be able to practice the profession. Generally, one needs to undergo an exam and must have at least two years of supervised experience.

What It Really Takes

A social worker’s job is both exciting and challenging. It, at times, connects with the darker side of life – dealing with society’s problems like poverty, drug addiction, and all forms of abuse. One has to love everything about it to be able to persevere and succeed.

With the multidisciplinary work description and the wide range of people that they work with, the role of a social worker remains—and will continue to remain—indispensable.

Tri is a blogger who likes to blog about different career options.  He owns several sites dedicated to helping people find their dream jobs.  You can check out http://socialworkerdata.com if you are interested in becoming a social worker.