What Does A Social Worker Do? [Roles & Types]

I wanna thank you for making me happy by giving me a new and safe environment.  Now I have a home that is nice and three nice meals a day

These were the lines from a heartwarming letter written by 8-year-old Marie Rose Suprenant to her social worker at CHA named Michele, who saved her from her abusing mother and her boyfriend when she was 8 months old.

You may often come across this kind of articles about different social workers who were there to “save the day”, but you may often think “what really a social worker do?”, “ do they just go around saving people?”.

No matter what work you do, either a founder of a big company or a cashier at Aldi, everyone has to follow a basic system, a matric, a structure that helps in generating revenue and reaching more people. Here’s a guide answering your questions related to what does a social worker do.

Role Of A Social Worker

You want to help people, you often see what difficulties other people face in their daily lives and you don’t want any child to go to sleep with an empty stomach and you want to help every person who has been denied to basic human rights such as the right to education, healthcare and freedom of expression then you should consider the role of a social worker.

A job of a  social worker is challenging but can be rewarding at some times. It is one of those occupations which give you a purpose in life.

The main objective of social workers is to improve the quality of life of people or society as a whole.

Types of social workers

Social workers work in many fields: each one is specialised in helping people with certain problems. A  Social worker helps people who are facing health problems, financial problems, substance abuse problem or even those who are affected due to natural disasters.

Here are the types of social workers who are out there helping those who are in need.

Children, Family And School Social Workers

Children, family and school social workers focus mainly on the vulnerable children and families who need help in terms of finances or mentally.

They work with children and help them find foster homes for adoption. They look after children who are being abused by their guardians or are denied of proper education, food or shelter.

These social workers also help families who are not financially stable by providing them food stamps, child care, affordable housing and healthcare.

These social workers often stationed at schools and also provide therapy to children with traumas who have been neglected or have been abused in their life.

Healthcare Social Workers

Healthcare social workers are present in the healthcare industry. They help people who come under emotional and financial stress while facing life-threatening diseases.

Patients who may need financial guidance or spiritual guidance are often contacted by social workers.

Healthcare social workers also contact the family of a patient because most of the time their families don’t know how they can support the patience or what to expect in this situation.

Psychiatric Social Workers

When a person completes the required course in a mental/psychiatric hospital and now clueless about what he/she should do next for a better & healthy life, this is where the psychiatric social workers come in the picture. They help the person with further medications and therapy by providing them with the resources and knowledge one needs after completing the hospitalisation.

A psychiatric social worker helps patients with legalities and procedures which can be stressful for patients and their families.

Military And Veterans Social Workers

Military and veterans social workers help soldiers and veterans with issues such as after war PTSD caused due to decisions one has to take in combat, guilt and nightmares after a war ends and those soldiers who are deployed in another country away from home.

These social workers also help veterans who are struggling in adjusting life after retiring from the army. Social workers help them with work, therapy and providing support to soldiers and their families for post-traumatic stress and substance abuse due to the result of combat.

Mental Health And Substance Abuse Social Workers

Mental health and substance abuse social workers help people who have mental conditions or addiction problems. Sometimes patients can have both the issues, a person who’s suffering from a mental condition often try to find comfort by using alcohol or drugs as an escape. Many people with trauma often find themselves completely drawn in alcohol and drugs.

These Social workers work in hospitals and rehabilitation centres and help people by providing them resources and assistant for their problems.

Community Social Workers

Community social workers work with a population of a specific area, a community which is facing problems such as after-effects of a natural disaster. They also work with other local non-profit organisations to re-build the community and counsel the families. They are also connected to local leaders & mayors to help people within the community.

Criminal Justice Social Workers

Criminal justice social workers or forensic social workers work with people such as ex-convicts, prisoners And their families. They often help ex-offenders who want to live a crime-free life after completing their sentence by providing them jobs or other options.

Criminal justice social workers include jobs of diversion programme managers, probation and parole officers, sex offender clinicians and transitional case managers. They work for local law authorities.

Hospice And Palliative Care Social Workers

Hospice & palliative care social workers work with people who are living with chronic diseases and those people who don’t have much time left in their hands.

Social workers help patients and families by providing them options and emotional support through the process.  Palliative and hospice care social workers provide training like dealing with pain without using pharmaceuticals and support groups for patients and their families.

Social Worker Salary And Eligibility

Being a social worker is a rewarding job itself but one can also earn a pretty good sum of the amount while helping others. In the US a social worker earns nearly an average of $47,980 per year or $23.07 per hour with a little experience in the field.

The growth rate in this field is higher than any other comparable field. The demand for the social worker is likely to be increasing within 5 years.

Jobs in mental health and substance abuse and other parts of social work likely to be increased with 16% by 2026 for people with a masters degree in social work. Although to become a social worker you only need a bachelor’s degree in social work but to become a clinical social worker you have complete master’s degree and at least 2 years of post-masters experience in a supervised clinical setting.

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What Does A Social Worker Do? [Roles & Types]

by Rahul Bhadana