Careers in Social Work
Opportunities and Options
Social Work is a career with meaning, action, and diversity. The Bureau of Labor Statistics cites Social Work as one of the most rapidly growing of all professions. The need for professional social workers is projected to grow 23% from 2010-2018.
The need for effective services, intelligent advocacy, and leadership is compelling. Few careers can match the range and variety of professional activities, specializations, and settings of social work:
- Child Welfare/Family Services: Social workers counsel and educate to help families better cope with problems and to protect children from abuse and neglect.
- Case Management: In community mental health agencies, health care settings, and in child welfare settings social workers coordinate and monitor services to meet clients' needs.
- Health Care: In hospitals, long term care and rehabilitation facilities and community-based health care organizations, Social Workers help people cope with many of the issues that accompany illness or inhibit recovery and are a vital part of interdisciplinary service teams.
- Schools: School Social Workers evaluate social, emotional and behavioral problems affecting children’s learning and social interactions and offer individual, group, and structural interventions to remedy them.
- Clinical Social Work: Social Workers provide psychotherapy and most of the mental health services (65%) in the United States in both agencies and private practice settings.
- Community Organizations: Social Workers organize and work in cooperation with neighborhoods, organizations, and communities to identify needs and develop and improve services.
Policy and Planning: Social Workers analyze social trends and policies, formulate new policies, and advocate for their implementation.
- Administration and Management: Social Workers oversee the provision of public and private social and health service programs and evaluate their effectiveness. They employ social workers and other professionals to provide services.