Social Worker Job Description
A social worker is a person who is trained to help people with personal and social problems manage their problems and obtain social services. Social workers counsel and provide support and information to people with personal and social problems like alcohol addiction, unemployment, homelessness, and mental or physical disorder.
A social worker should be open-minded, attentive, empathetic, dependable, friendly and helpful, and have the ability to relate to a wide variety of people. They should also have good decision making and problem solving skills, and the ability to communicate effectively.
Pursue a career in social work if are a friendly and open minded person who is interested in working with people and addressing social and community issues and problems.
What does a Social Worker do?
Social workers may do some or all of the following:
- work with individuals, families, groups and communities
- carry out policy research to test existing policies or to help develop new ones
- identify people in need and talk to them about their problems
- counsel clients and help them manage their problems
- link clients to community resources or to care-givers
- plan and manage social service programs
- provide information and education on social problems
- advise people on their rights and opportunities available to them
- attend case conferences and possibly court hearings
- support and advocate for people in crises
- write reports and give presentations
Where does a Social Worker work?
Places of work for social workers include:
- Correctional institutions
- Motherless baby homes
- Children’s aid agencies
- Family services agencies
- General and psychiatric hospitals
- Welfare administration agencies
- Non-profit organizations
Social workers work in offices, schools, hospitals, homes, government agencies, and civic centers. Their working hours may be long and irregular. Their work may involve travelling to visit clients in their homes or to attend conferences. Their work may also be stressful and challenging, as some of the people they work with may be violent and abusive.
What is Required to Become a Social Worker?
The most common requirement for entry-level positions in social works is a bachelor’s degree in social work or a related discipline such as sociology or psychology with a master’s degree in Social Work.
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:
- Introductory Sociology
- Cognitive and Social Psychology
- Human Growth and Behavior
- Social Work Values, Roles and Tasks
- Law and Politics in Social Work
- Disability and Mental Health
- Health and Social Care
- Social Work with Older People
- Social Work with Children and Families
- Social Work with People with Substance Problems
- Social Work in Criminal Justice
- Counseling within Social Work Practice
- Research Methods and Social Work Practice
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Social workers need to have:
- confidence and humility
- determination and diligence
- honesty and integrity
- good attention to detail
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- good analytical and problem solving skills
- time management and organizational skills
- counseling skills and the ability to motivate and persuade others
- the ability to respect the dignity and worth of other people
- the ability to cope with stress (both psychological and physical stress)
- the ability to relate to a wide variety of people
- knowledge of human services management
- knowledge of social welfare policies
- knowledge of contemporary issues affecting society
- knowledge of human behavior, development, relationships and social systems
Should I be a Social Worker?
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