Brief guide to a career as a social worker

It is projected social work jobs will grow faster than the average of all other jobs between the years 2008 and 2018. So, if you are thinking about pursuing a career as a social worker this is probably the best time to be doing so. However, you will need to understand the different types of social work available and the duties of social workers to make an informed decision on the career path.

Duties and responsibilities of social workers

Social workers help people deal with problems affecting them and work to improve people's overall quality of life. The responsibility of a social worker is to help people in difficult situations overcome their problems, such as the sick, homeless and victims of broken homes.

Duties of a social worker might include, researching the kind of help people in difficult situations need, developing programs to provide that help and following up to ensure people take the necessary steps to solve their problems.

Social workers may also provide counseling to people facing difficult situations in life. Different types of social work exist and there are different problem areas you can specialise like poverty, child abuse and violence.

Types of social work

Generally, you may become a social worker in one of three broad specialties:

1. Family, child and school social worker

As a family, child and school social worker, you will help parents learn how to better nature and care for children. You will also find foster homes for neglected and or abused children.

In the school setting, you will advice teachers and students on how best to tackle behaviour and learning problems, such as shyness and bullying. You may also help the elderly and their families address different problems affecting them, as a family social worker.

2. Substance abuse and mental health social worker

As a substance abuse and mental health social worker, you will help people deal with mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse problems. Your duties might include finding people with such problems, providing talk therapy and developing programs that help identify and solve the problems.

You may also reach out to the wider community and teach people ways to deal with issues that increase risks of substance abuse and mental problems. This might involve teaching people new life skills and how to manage issues like violence and feelings like fear and anger.

3. Public health and medical social worker

Finally, you can become a public health and medical social worker where you will help people who are sick or suffering long-time health problems. Your duties here might include advising the families of mental health patients on the best ways to deal with the patient and address issues arising from the sickness.

You might also have to recommend the best nursing and or nutritional care for mental health patients.

Bottom line

Helping people live better lives is one of the most gratifying experiences you can have, but it is also important to realise working with people who are upset and in trouble can be a difficult undertaking. Weigh your options carefully and choose a career in social work conscientiously. For further information on careers in social work, visit prospects.ac.uk/social_worker_job_description.htm.

United Kingdom - Excite Network Copyright ©1995 - 2021