A study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the overall number of social workers in the United States is projected to grow about 13 percent from 2019 to 2029-a much faster rate than the average for all other professions. Employment growth will be different according to specialization and area of expertise, but social work, in general, will continue to grow as a career in the next decade.
And it’s no surprise-everywhere we look, there are vulnerable and marginalized sectors and communities that need help and healing.
There is nothing more rewarding than tangibly and practically meeting people’s felt needs, and going into social work is one of the few jobs where we can do so for a living.
If you have a passion for helping marginalized communities, social work might be for you. Here are some things you need to do before you go into this rewarding line of work.
Social workers are professionals who help people find solutions to their problems and cope with various issues at a base level.
They work in different settings, including but are not limited to child welfare and human service agencies, mental health clinics, schools, settlement houses, hospitals, community development corporations,rehab centers for drug abuse, and private practices.
How To Be A Social Worker
While some types of social workers only require a bachelor’s degree in social work, those who want to work at a clinical level mustpossess amaster’s degree and two years’ worth of post master’s degree experience in a clinical setting that licensed professionals and coaches supervise.
To practice, clinical social workers also need to have the necessary license in the state where they wish to practice.
Types Of Social Work
There are different kinds of social work:
- Substance abuse social workers partner with hospitals and rehab facilities to support and assist those who struggle with substance abuse, addiction, or other mental health problems.
- Healthcare social workers work hand in hand with hospitals and patients to navigate the mental, emotional, physical, and financial hardships of suffering from a serious medical condition.Studiesshow that being in and out of the hospital and suffering from a chronic illness can take a toll on one’s mental health. Healthcare social workers can help provide relief and counseling to chronically ill patients and help lift their burdens a bit.
- Psychiatric social workers help provide therapy and counseling for patients who are receiving mental health services and support in a hospital or medical setting. They assist in determining patients’ psychiatric health and finding referrals, giving resources, and understanding the long-term care options and legalities of a patient’s condition. Psychiatric social workers are also tasked to ensure that patients are discharged only when they’re healthy and ready to get back out there in the world.
- Community health social workers are tasked to assist in planning, organizing, and coordinating efforts related to specific sectors of our community. They are known for working alongside community non-profit foundations to help provide aid and relief for neighborhoods and families after natural disasters and tragedies. Oftentimes, they also work with local policymakers and politicians to speak on behalf of marginalized groups, and they may also work with and for advocacy groups and other aid organizations.
- Family, child, and school social workers work with youth who are suffering from different kinds of trauma and abuse and often help provide parents with resources if their child has a mental illness. Social workers of this type who work at schools also help determine and ultimately combat the obstacles that disrupt a student’s learning.
- Hospice care social workers work with patients diagnosed with a terminal illness and who only have a couple of months to live.In these times, many families opt to have their terminally ill loved ones checked into hospice care since they will receive the support, care, and dignity they deserve in the twilight of their lives. Hospice care social workers help alleviate patients’ emotional and mentalsufferingin these facilities by assisting them in their decision-making andimproving their quality of life. At the same time, they spend the last remaining months on earth. At the same time, these social workers also provide emotional and mental support to the families left behind.
Social work is a challenging and oftentimes thankless job, but it helps a lot of people. If you have the desire to help change lives, don’t hesitate to explore this career. There’s always room for more social workers.