An Overview of Social Workers

A social worker’s job description goes beyond helping individuals with their problems. They can help others cope with different challenges such as disabilities or illness, serve as counselors for those with mental health or addictions, assist in the process of adoption, and more.

They aid individuals to overcome social issues such as discrimination, poverty, abuse, and addiction while improving their well-being.

What Are the Primary Responsibilities of a Social Worker?

While there are many different areas a social worker can specialize in — thus resulting in different responsibilities  — the common responsibilities of a social worker can include, but are not limited to:

  • Assess an individual’s needs, situation, strengths, and support networks, and assist them accordingly.
  • Help in the adjustment or challenges that may appear in an individual’s lives, such as illness, divorce, or unemployment.
  • Refer clients to resources such as food stamps, welfare, childcare, and healthcare in order to improve a client’s wellbeing. Advocate for such resources as well.
  • Act accordingly in situations such as child abuse and mental health emergencies.
  • Help parents or other family members gain the skills and tools necessary to provide and care for children and/or other family members
  • Work with communities and individuals to break down existing social barriers
  • Ensure that clients’ needs are being met through follow-ups and program development.

How Do You Become a Social Worker?   

Like many of those in the work force, the path of becoming a social worker vary individually.

At the very least, however, those who wish to become a social worker must obtain a bachelor’s degree in social work along with a license (requirements vary by place when it comes to obtaining a license, but most require additional testing). Those who have a master’s in social work can work anywhere in the U.S. regardless of license requirements.

In addition, most individuals must complete two-three years of supervised and documented hands-on internships in order to become a social worker.

What are Some Employment Opportunities?

Projected to grow 12% from 2014 to 2024 overall, social workers have one of the fastest employment growth rates in the U.S, according to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because of this growth, job prospects as a social worker should be good.

What is the Salary of an Average Social Worker?

Pay for a social worker typically depends on location, experience, and type of social work. As of May 2016, the average annual salary for social workers across the board was $46, 890; the lowest 10% earning less than $28,800 while the highest 10% earned more than $78, 510.

Conclusion

Social work is a difficult field to work in, with lots of differing responsibilities. However, it is also an extremely rewarding profession, as you will help individuals improve their lives and aid some in the most difficult stage of their lives. It is worth investing time and effort to become a social worker.

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