Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Social Work

Social work plays an essential role in changing people’s lives, government policies and the environment around you by empowering others and supporting positive changes in people’s daily lives. Here are some things that you probably didn't know: What is a social worker?

Social workers help people of all ages, abilities, and identities when they are going through difficult times. They build relationships and work with clients to increase safety and stability to their life. More importantly, social workers help clients maintain the positive change.  Social workers can also help bring stability to businesses, non-profit organizations, advocate for policies and systematic changes.




Social work is an incredibly challenging but rewarding profession.

Skills such as relationship-building, conflict resolution and leadership are essential in helping to transform the lives of client’s. Social workers are often faced with difficult situations and decisions, all of which help to build resilience. When a client builds confidence and is becoming the best version of themselves, it’s the best feeling to know that you were apart of guiding them to where they are.


No single day as a social worker is the same.

They work on a variety of cases that can change from day to day, so you can always expect something different. Therefore, if you are interested in a fast-paced job where you can give back to society then social work could be for you.


It is an incredibly flexible career.

As a social worker, you are trained in a variety of areas, ranging from safeguarding, mental health and child protection. There is also the opportunity to specialize and move between different sectors of the profession. If you like to change the environment you work in, social work is great for you!




There are people who do social work but are not social workers.

Wait what? You read that right, some of these people can be found in government divisions such as county agencies however, they are not social workers because they are not licensed. If someone is not a licensed social worker but does social work, they cannot be held to the same standards and there is no protection for the clients if that person treats them unjustly. They also do not have the same training, education, and skills licensed social workers to have.


Social Workers are not children snatchers.

In the U.S., child welfare services are managed by a state government agency. These agencies investigate reports of child abuse and neglect, and they work closely with the court system to decide whether or not to remove a child from their home. While social workers provide their professional perspective on whether a child is safe in their home, ultimately a judge decides whether the child needs out-of-home care. Social workers then provide services to the family in order to resolve conflicts or disruptions and teach healthy skills so that children can safely return home. If anything at all, we as a profession, want to do everything we can to help keep families together.


There are male social workers too!

Social work is often referred to as a woman-dominated field, but there are men in social work and many are in leadership positions as well. More men are needed because the field of social work requires a balanced, diverse mix of people able to help a diverse population.


You don’t need an undergraduate degree in social work to be a social worker!

No, you don’t! In fact, many individuals who chose to pursue a masters in social work have a different undergraduate degree. And if anything, this means that social workers have even more skills and experiences to add to the field.



Pictured are the 2019 inductees into the Beta Epsilon chapter of the Phi Alpha National Social Work Honor Society at the St. Catherine University/ University of St. Thomas Social Work Program. (I’m 4th from the left!)