If you like to help other people then being a social worker may be the best way that you can do this. You can make a living out of helping others to make their lives a better place. There are many different ways to do this and there are more social worker industries than many realize. The term “social work” is a broad term for the industry of helping others to fit in better with society and the community around them.
Being a productive part of society and the community that you live in is in many cases the foundation that you can build the rest of your life on. When you do not fit into the community around you, your life may become a little more difficult.
A social worker helps people to fit in better with their environment and give them the skills to live better with each other and those around them through helping them with problem solving and enhancing human relationships with each other.
What The Social Work Industry Is All About
Being a social worker means that you help people by affecting their social behavior and this can be done by either delivering goods and services directly to them or by acting on their behalf to give them a voice when they feel they are not being heard.
Employment Opportunities For Social Workers
Many have the misperception that social workers only work for the government but there are many other privately owned establishments that need social workers. These are hospitals, schools, non-profit organizations, government agencies or nursing homes.
The need for social workers is increasing significantly. The biggest reason for this is because the baby boomers are entering pension age and they will need more specialized care as well as more social services. These include a wide range of social skills and for this reason social work is a good industry to be entering into.
Special education children are also being integrated into normal schools to help them fit into society much easier and so they are discriminated against to a lesser degree. For this reason, schools are hiring a lot more social workers to help these children cope with the difficulties of belonging to the mainstream education system.
Many of these career options are dependant on government funding and sometimes it is difficult to get a job and to keep it for long because of budget cuts from government. It may be easier to get a job in a rural area than it is in the more urban areas.
Types Of Social Workers
There are many different lines of work for social workers and each of these comes with its own set of challenges.
Human Services Social Workers
The picture that is formed in your mind when you think of a social worker is more often than not of a human services social worker. They work directly with their clients to help these people to overcome social and economic problems and to give them to tools to do this.
Health Care Social Workers
With nursing shortages it is difficult enough for nurses to cope with the medical treatment of the patients. For this reason social workers are hired by hospitals, clinics and other health organizations to help with the counseling function of the business. These social workers will help patients to cope with their illnesses and the consequences thereof.
Imagine what it would be like to hear that you have cancer or that you have contracted HIV. The emotional weight of this news can be immense and a patient who has just heard such heavy news will need someone to counsel them in how to deal with the emotions that comes with these types of diseases that is quite often seen as a death sentence. This person sometimes also just needs someone to listen to them and their fears about the time to come and the nursing staff would love to perform this service for their patients, but they just have their hands full with the rest of their duties.
Patients going through treatments for their diseases may also be going through a tough time and may feel like they are a burden on the rest of their family and for this reason the social workers at the treatment centers perform a very critical role.
School Social Workers
The youth of today face a lot more difficulties than previous generations had to face. They are faced with the pressures of drug abuse, alcohol, performing sexual acts and all of the other pressures to fit into a certain type of group. There are more teenage suicides these days that there used to be. There is a lot of pressure on our youth by adults to perform and do their best and from their friends to get up to all sorts of activities that are not acceptable for their age because it is seen as living life on the edge and these teens are measured by these standards which may be conflicting and leads to immense stress of feelings of rejection from either their seniors or their peers.
School Social workers help students to find themselves in a society that seems to reject them no matter which path they choose to follow and gives them a safe place to air their feelings. Many times these students feel like they cannot speak to their parents or their teachers about the problems they are facing for fear of being reprimanded and being able to tell someone and speak about the pressures of life at school to someone who is removed from the situation is exactly what they need to blow off some steam and to talk about the things that concern them as well as to receive some non-judgmental advice on how to deal with the situation.
Social Work Planners
Teen pregnancy, drug abuse, spousal abuse, youth violence and prostitution are just some of the problems that are being faced in our communities all around the country as well as all around the world. When social workers are in the thick of things and out in the field dealing with these problems, they don’t have the time or the resources to still devise a plan or a program on how to deal with these challenges that face out communities today.
Social work planners are the individuals who do the research into out societies and the problems that are prevalent in the communities and they then device programs to deal with these problems and to help the community to deal with these problems. From here the social workers who are out in the field, implement these plans and programs. In this way the social work planners and the social workers out in the field work hand in hand to make the world a better place and to give individuals an escape from these problems through the programs and plans that are put together from the research that has been performed. This does not make the social work planners any less important that the social workers in the field, but an integral part of the team and the network that forms a part of the social worker network.
Mental Health And Substance Abuse Social Workers
These types of social workers assess and treat patients with mental disorders or with problems of substance, tobacco or alcohol abuse. They would help these individuals with group or individual therapy and help them to be integrated into society and helping them to obtain services at their homes that they may need after being discharged. Someone with a mental illness may need someone to care for them at home and if they are able to work, then the social worker will help them to get gainful employment that will not be out of their reach but will give them the tools they need to survive as a part of society. Those individuals that are in rehabilitation centers will need help to fit back into society and will need the tools to cope without the substance they have been addicted to and will need the tools to resist the temptation of falling back into old habits which can be taught by the social workers that are involved in this line of social work.
The Strong Desire To Improve Society
Social workers across the industry are put in place to help society as a whole to accept each other and for individuals who would not normally fit in with the community to find their way back. There are many circumstances that are responsible for people veering off the acceptable track and it is up to social workers to find out why these things happen and what to do about it so that we can all live together as peacefully as is possible in societies that are becoming more and more diverse. Working with people who may not want to be helped can be very challenging but the rewards are just as great as the challenges of this job and knowing that you are part of a greater good is the job satisfaction that many of us strive towards.