Myth Busters: Social Work

Because social work is such a diverse field that involves all kinds of people, there are many myths surrounding the profession. These are some of the common myths about social workers — and though some may hold true to an extent, they are not what all social workers do.

Social Workers Just Take People’s Children Away

When people think social workers, they often think about those who work for Child Protective Services or other agencies related to Government Family and Child Services.

A lot of times, they also relate this to the — sometimes — forcible removal of children from their households or families. This is untrue. Though social workers do sometimes remove children from abusive households, they typically do so if this is the last resort. Otherwise, they often try to keep families together while dealing with these kinds of situations — with the safety of children as the number one goal.

Social Worker Just Give Out Welfare and Contribute to Bureaucratic Issues

A common complaint in the U.S. is the amount of public welfare being given, as well as the bureaucratic issues that exists within these systems. Because some social workers do work for some government agencies that handle welfare, they often become part of these complaints and political concerns.

However, social workers are often not directly responsible for policies and government politics that contribute to bureaucratic issues or public complaint. Additionally, there are many social workers who do not work for agencies that handle welfare.

If You Are Kind Then You Can Be a Social Worker

While traits such as passion, empathy, and kindness are often part of what makes a good social worker, it often takes more than that for someone to be a social worker. Besides these traits, social workers also have to be organized, responsive, and articulate.

They manage and solve many tough situations or problems; often decisions made by social workers can have a great affect on people’s lives. They often have to do deal with these hard situations while following government issued guidelines or working several other different cases.

All Social Workers Work for the Government

A number of government agencies have a demand for social workers, but this does not mean that social workers only find employment in government sectors. Social workers often find work in places such as non-profits, mental health centers, private agencies or corporations, and education institutes such as schools and universities, to name a few.

Social Workers Only Work with Poor People

With employment opportunities in a wide range of settings from prison systems to police departments, social workers work with people no matter who they are, what kind of background they come from, or what their annual income is.

Anyone Who Works in a Public Service Position is a Social Worker

There are many professionals as well as volunteers who hold positions in public service, but only those with a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate in social work are social workers.

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