A social worker is someone who is employed to help others confront and solve the problems they face in life.

What Social Workers DoEdit

Social workers focus on working with people who are all suffering from the same issue. That group of people is referred to as a "population." Some examples of populations include people who are homeless, people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, people who suffer abuse from a parent or spouse, people who suffer from racism.

Generally, social workers fall into two categories: direct practice social workers, and clinical social workers.[1] Direct practice social workers help people with everyday problems, such as getting government aid, finding employment, or utilizing community resources. A clinical social worker diagnoses and treats mental and behavioral health disorders, and develops a treatment plan to help the person in need to face the difficulties he or she is experiencing.

Types of Social Worker JobsEdit

Social workers may practice in a number of different fields, including child welfare, mental health, health services, substance abuse, corrections, school social work, homelessness, domestic violence, hospice services, international social work and work in local, state, and federal government.[2]

Where They WorkEdit

Social workers are employed in numerous locations, including:

  • child welfare agencies and family services organizations;
  • adoption and foster care agencies;
  • grade schools, middle schools, and high schools;
  • universities and colleges;
  • hospitals and clinics;
  • mental health facilities;
  • homeless shelters;
  • boarding homes and halfway houses;
  • prisons and correctional facilities;
  • governmental departments and agencies;
  • social welfare agencies;
  • job training centers;
  • military bases and hospitals;
  • hospices;
  • retirement centers and nursing homes; and
  • private clinical practices.[3]

Education RequiredEdit

Most social workers are required to have a bachelor's degree, but many continue to get their master's degree. Typically, a bachelor's degree of any kind of required to direct practice work, while those are going to practice clinical social work need to attain a master's degree in social work (known as an "MSW").[4]