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Inside the Career of a Social Worker

Social workers are undoubtedly the unsung heroes of our youth and families in America. This profession is not for the weak and needs someone who is strong and motivated enough to save young lives from desperate situations. There’s more to the social work profession than interviewing children; it’s there for the protection of all families and young ones.

Child and family social workers protect vulnerable children and support families in need of assistance. Social workers with backgrounds in psychology can provide counseling to families or children in a rough situation. As well, other clinical social workers might be able to treat and diagnose mental illnesses in patients.

I just declared my minor in social work and wanted to get to know a little more about the daily life and career of social workers, so I decided to ask a social worker who is also a family friend a few questions about the profession. For personal and professional purposes, I cannot provide her name. Social workers often work in environments that might lead to safety hazards for them or their patients’ families, therefore it’s safer to go nameless for the sake of privacy and personal safety.

Her Campus (HC): Social work is such an important role in our society to provide safety and wellness to the public—what is the most common form of social work today?

Social Worker (SW): The current most common social work done today is usually in a more personal setting. Micro social work is the current most used form of social work and has expanded a lot within the last couple of years. Micro social work is done in a personal setting, such as in a family home. Micro social workers also work directly in communities with individuals.

HC: Following the last question, what type of position can a social worker with a master’s degree obtain?

SW: Many social workers have a background in psychology, and this usually means they’ve gone to school for counseling or plan to get their license to do so. Many people don’t normally go into social work to do counseling, but you’d find more and more careers are opening up within the field. Anyone with a master’s degree in social work can be a family, child or school social worker with the right certifications and passions for young ones. If someone who wants to have a future as a psychologist lands a career in social work, they’re probably going to be as a mental health social worker or clinical social worker.

HC: As a social worker, what is the most driving part of your job that gets you to work every day?

SW: Personally, I like working with families and adults who need help getting out into the world after a serious accident or traumatic event. Usually, adults need help after overcoming substance abuse, getting out of rehab or a domestic abuse relationship. I help check in on their well-being, take an assessment of how they are and ask them questions about their recovery. Sometimes I help them with their careers and other times I will just provide my mental health services to them. I love to see these cases and see the people I work with develop skills that take them far; it’s very rewarding knowing that hard work does pay off.

HC: Lastly, how do you know social work is a good career path for someone to take?

SW: Social work is a very intense job sometimes. The world can be a cruel place but it’s the job of those who care a lot to make a difference or at least provide help to those in need. If someone has a passion for helping people, then take classes in psychology, learn your options and educate yourself on social work.

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I am a sophomore studying psychology! I am also a new member to HC and excited for everything coming soon!
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