A common question asked by many even today is exactly what do social workers do? Put simply, they help people function better in society and with other people. And while the answer is simple, the process is not always. Two types of social workers aid individuals, couples and families everyday: direct-service social workers who help people resolve issues and cope with problems, and clinical social workers whose job it is to diagnose and treat mental, emotional and behavioral issues.
Where Do Social Workers Work?
These compassionate and skilled individuals render their services in a wide variety of settings and neighborhoods. Some work in mental health clinics while others work in private practice. Some work at health clinics and some work at schools and in hospitals. It’s said that a social worker’s job is never done and that’s evidenced by the long hours they often put it. If a client is in crisis, it’s the social workers job to help them even if it’s in the evening or on the weekend. It takes a dedicated and patient individual to be an effective social worker.
Are Social Workers Licensed Like Doctors?
While clinical social workers are, in fact, licensed they are not required to achieve the same degree of education as a physician. Social workers, however, adhere to the same doctor/client privilege meaning anything you say is kept between you and the social worker whom you are seeing for counseling. Any breach of that credo would be cause for dismissal from almost every setting they are employed in.
What’s on the Horizon
As society becomes more educated they become more accepting of the concept of social work and counseling. At one time not so long ago, anyone who needed counseling was considered weak or addled. Today, people from all walks of life seek out the services of social workers at various times in their life. In fact, the employment of social workers is expected to grow by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020. That’s far faster than the average for all occupations across the board. An increase in the demand for health care will stimulate the need for more social workers to help those patients through difficult times caused by illness and
Social Workers as Healers
Today in many third world cultures healing of emotional as well as physical ailments is centered around prayer and ritual. In Western society for many years we relied solely on the treatments prescribed by medical doctors. But society is changing and evolving and with it so is the view of counseling as treatment. Many more people are open to the idea of working with a social worker to overcome emotional, physical and behavioral problems. The social worker is fast becoming one of the most sought after practitioners today and for good reason: It’s people helping people and many people in this fast paced world need help.