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The Important Role of a Social Worker

In times of emergencies and natural disasters, often it’s the police, rescue teams and firefighters who get much of the credit in helping the community. Little do some people know that social workers also play a significant role in helping victims recover and lead a normal life after the storm.

But social workers do not only provide assistance during accidents and natural calamities. Even in everyday life, they help people in the communities by finding solutions to their problems. They serve as counselor, adviser, advocate and listener and for them to succeed in these roles, they need to possess a wide range of skills including a passion for improving people’s lives.

The goal of these professionals is to build better and harmonious relationships among families and members of the community. They are normally involved in delivering adult and children’s services and they work in schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, charities and independent organizations and health clinics among others.

In adult services, among their most important responsibilities are to work with offenders, work with people suffering from mental health issues, assist senior citizens and people with HIV/AIDS. Those involved in children services, meanwhile, provide guidance to young offenders, manage adoption and foster care processes, give advice to families with problematic relationship and children having difficulties in school or with regards to their health.

Types of Social Workers

Professionals involved in social work are of two types – direct-service and clinical social workers.

The direct-service workers assist people by helping them cope with and solve their problems in life.
The clinical workers, on the other hand, are responsible for diagnosing and treating mental, behavioral and emotional issues.

The employment outlook for this profession in the U.S. is very positive with a projected 25 percent growth through 2020. This means some 58,200 new jobs for the country. This growth rate is considered to be faster than the average covering all occupations. The continued demand for health care and social services is going to drive this growth, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Basically, one needs a bachelor’s degree in social work, sociology psychology or related courses to be able to pursue this profession. States also require the appropriate licenses while in some states, a social worker needs to have accomplished a certain number of supervised hours in order to work full-time in this field. Last but not the least, a master’s degree is a sure way to help one move up to a higher position such as a manager or one who handles training.

Photo via socialworkersalaryhq.org

About the guest author:

Darwin has a master of social work degree and now works as a counselor for a government agency in their town.