It is hard to believe that the very first social work class was at the Columbia University in 1898, and even then students took social worker programs which included hands-on experience in clinical settings. Through the ages there have always been people who work selflessly among the poorest of the poor, bringing hope and caring to thousands of sick, destitute, homeless and hungry people. Social workers have also developed private and charitable organizations to serve people in need, and many people around the world enjoy wonderful privileges because of what the first social workers established.
Social work is one profession that is continuously evolving to respond to and address an ever-changing world and its problems. Jane Addams was a pioneer in social work and one of the first women to receive a Nobel Peace Prize for her outstanding work in establishing settlement houses in Chicago for immigrants in the early 1900s. In the early 1900s, many programs and services were established to address the basic needs of the poor so that they could have access to things like housing, sanitation, safety , medical care, education, and fair wages. The social workers also worked hard to control alcohol and narcotic abuse and to improve the lot of those with mental illnesses and disabilities, and to also bring about a system of human dignity, social justice and equality for all.
How To Select The Right Social Worker Program
People wondering about studying social welfare will want to know what program will interest them the most, the cost of the program, the duration and the quality of the education. Social work is all about improving the quality of life for families and individuals, and all their programs focus on providing new social workers with the appropriate training and skills to perform their functions in the most outstanding manner possible. Programs can be anything from several weeks to eight years.
Master Degree Program Opens Superb Work Opportunities
Today, obtaining a degree will provide you with a host of career options that involve helping people to overcome problems that affect their well-being. Things like unemployment, child abuse and foster care are just some of the issues that social workers deal with every day. Mental health and substance abuse is an area of massive growth and social workers alone in this specific area are going to be in demand, with experts predicting a 20% expansion of employment in this particular area of social work as well as positions around child, home and family services. No matter what type of social work you are interested in, entering into a master’s degree program will certainly provide you with a bright future.
These programs prepare students to help improve people’s lives and the future forecast for employment in social work is excellent, particularly for social workers specializing in child and family services, geriatrics, mental health and substance abuse.
Make Sure Programs Are Accredited
The Internet has a list of universities that offer accredited social worker programs, and in addition to the social work degree programs, graduates with the appropriate social work academic credentials will meet the education requirement for registration as a social worker. For instance, the program offered at the University of Manitoba is for those who are already working in the field of social work and who want to pursue a professional social work education. The requirements for admission to the university are that students have at least two years work experience in social services.
Social Work programs are created to develop the social worker skills of the student to enhance the community. To be accepted into the Masters of Social Work at a university students will need an undergraduate degree in Social Work or Liberal Arts which will help the student with further studies.
- The first year program offers foundation courses as well as working in an internship setting to get an idea of real world situation.
- The second year enables you to choose the type of track you want to enter into as well as taking research courses.
There are three education levels for social work programs, and these are diploma, degree, and masters degree. The types of training will prepare you to work in a variety of different positions with different responsibilities.
What Is The Bachelor’s Degree Program?
A Bachelor in Social Works (BSW) combines social work classes with liberal arts which prepares students for entry into direct human service professional positions. A bachelor’s degree in social work is a requirement for entry-level positions. BSW programs prepare and teach students about the different populations, human behavior as well as social welfare policy. The program also require students to complete an internship. BSW students will learn to work in a variety of settings and some of the skills they will learn will include things like:
- case management
- assessment, interviewing
- crisis intervention, problem solving
- community organizing
- research and networking
Students will complete 125 hours of coursework as well as 480 hours of fieldwork in a social services agency. Once students have graduated, they will be able to enhance the well-being of their clients and also promote social and economic justice. After completing specified pre-requisites, eligible students can apply to the upper-division professional sequence as a social work major. Majoring in social work will provide students with many opportunities.
What Is The Master Of Social Work Degree?
While a bachelor’s degree program is required for most direct service social work positions, there are a number of positions that require a master’s degree. Clinical social workers must have a master’s degree and they must be licensed. The degree enables the social workers to practice social work once they have completed a number of hours of supervised practice. The student will require two years of full-time study, as well as some 900 hours of supervised practice.
The Master of Social Work Degree (MSW) takes about two years to complete; however there are programs where students with a BSW can go for their MSW in one year. Whichever program you select, you will be required to complete supervised fieldwork.
Costs And Financial Aid
The current tuition fee for a social work program can be as much as $70,000 for a graduate degree. Obviously there are many students who would never be able to cope with this expense, and there are, fortunately, a number of grants, scholarships and financial assistance available for students to help cover these costs. Many schools and colleges offer part-time positions which also help students with covering their fees, and there are some places which offer free education in exchange for you working with them for a number of years.
All states require clinical social workers to be licensed. Becoming a licensed clinical social worker requires a master’s degree in social work as well as many hours of supervised clinical experience after graduation. Thereafter, clinical social workers must pass an exam to be licensed.
Finding A Program You Are Interested In
Social workers work in a realm of different situations , schools, clinics and hospitals, while the courts also make use of their valuable services. Of course, the type of work they do every day will depend on the environment they are working in as well as their level of education. Their services are wide-ranging, and they can be employed in a variety of different settings including nonprofits and government agencies. Many social workers offer their services in private practice, others conduct research, others work closely with families with all sorts of domestic problems, others work in hospitals, others offer counseling services, they work with community groups and all in all offer a broad range of supportive services.
Always focus on what you find the most interesting. The Internet is full of sites where you can explore your interests and match your skills in certain areas. To help you on your way, the Faculty of Social Sciences has designed a web-based tool to determine which program best suits your interests and skills. To access the tool you can visit this website.
There are social workers who’s job it is to help people understand the different social services available to them. They themselves have access to a lot of information about social worker programs that can help with getting someone a job, getting counseling and help with regards to substance abuse and rehabilitation programs as well as counseling programs. Their job is to work with people, recognize their needs, and help them to become emotionally and financially stable.
Get To Know The Programs And Their Career Opportunities
Once you have established exactly what your interests are, you can have a good look at all of the programs offered and what type of career the program will provide.
Once you identify your interests and skills, take time to acquaint yourself with each of the programs offered and the careers they can lead to. To get you started, the University of Ottawa for instance offers a brilliant list of programs for you to get an idea of what fascinates you:
- social sciences
- women’s studies
- political science
- conflict studies and human rights
Social Worker Program Requirements
The level of education required for a job in social work will be different according to the type of work being done as well as the work setting. Most of the universities in the United States require the social worker to do one or two years of pre-professional studies with a grade point average of 65-70% before applying to their social work program. Admission requirements to social work programs will vary at each university, but entry into social work programs will generally include:
- interviews with the selection committee
- motivational essays with reasons why you want to be in the social work profession
- letters of reference
- coursework in Social Sciences, Humanities, English and Introductory Social Work courses
- work experience or volunteer work that has to do with social work
Once the social worker graduates from a social worker program, they will have a thorough understanding of social justice and would have acquired human service skills.
Contact your provincial or national association of social workers for registration as well as selecting the best pre-professional program for your requirements:
- Bachelor of Social Work: Admissions Information, Click Here
- Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work: Click Here
- University of Victoria, School of Social Work: Click Here
- New York University: their social work programs include Community Organization and Advocacy, General Social Work, Public Administration, Public Administration and Social Service Professions. Click Here for their website.
- University of Southern California – their social work programs include: General Social Work, Public Administration, Public Administration and Social Service Professions, Public Policy Analysis. Click Here for their website.
- Abilene Christian University: Phone: +1.325.674.2072 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Other Social Work Degree Programs are offered at:
- Community Organization and Advocacy Colleges
- Public Administration Colleges
- Youth Services/Administration Colleges
Social work is a massive field and students will have a wide choice of social worker programs to look at in order to find the one that will meet their professional and personal goals. On the Internet there are many programs that are regarded as the most popular and which are highly rated, but you must select the one in your particular area of interest in order to make a success of it. To help you with making your selection, you can access the Council on Social Work Education website for a list of accredited and in-candidacy master’s and baccalaureate social work programs.
Another thing to take into account with considering social worker programs is their particular focus, because some will focus on the usual regular social work while others are geared more towards mental health counseling. You will know where you belong in this industry.