Have you ever looked at the world around you and felt a pull toward the injustice that people face each day? Have you also felt like you just had to do something about this and fight for others when they couldn’t fight for themselves? – Well if your answers to those were yes, then social work might just be for you!
What is Social Work?
Social work is a profession that promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. – University of York
As the name “social” suggests, this career is very people oriented and to succeed, it is generally expected (or at least encouraged) for you to start from a passion to help others and see others be uplifted.
Careers in Social Work
Examples of roles you might be able to get into within social work include:
- Homelessness officer – oversee the delivery of advice and assessment service for people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness.
- Children’s social worker – provide care and support for children in different circumstances and at different stages in life such as those in foster care or children transitioning to adolescence and adulthood.
- Education welfare officer – aim to make sure that young people get the best possible education by working with young people whose education is being affected by irregular attendance or absence from school.
- Healthcare social worker – refers clients to social services as necessary, advise care givers and provide patients with education in order to help people access services related to health problems.
- Mental health social worker – empower individuals with mental illness to lead fulfilling, independent lives.
- Community support worker – visit people in their own homes to help them live their lives as independently as possible, and ensure they are safe and healthy.
- Court liaison – act as a support to law enforcement in the pursuit of justice within the court system.
Because of the career being a sensitive one, the academic requirements to enter this field is a bachelor’s or even a master’s degree in social work. Sometimes other degrees are acceptable like social sciences, politics or legal studies. However, on top of your qualifications, certain skills are essential such as:
- excellent communication;
- caring personality;
- patience; and
- the ability to remain calm in a crisis.
This job is definitely for those who prefer hands on work as you would find yourself working directly with vulnerable people or those in need. This also means that you should expect any social work job to conduct background checks on you before taking you on as an employee. For the UK, this would be DBS checks but for other countries this may just be police record checks, so make sure you have a clean record before pursuing this field.
When considering career development, you may find yourself having to switch between areas for example switching from the foster/adoption system to child protection or working with the elderly.
How to stand out?
On top of your qualifications, If you have a love for people and heart to help them, you should go far. As an added bonus to really make you stand out though, you can get additional certifications in areas like Case Management; Children, Youth and Families; Gerontology; and Health. This would take your knowledge to another level and give you more to offer the people you help and the organisation that you want to work for. A certificate in first aid and CPR would also be very beneficial in this field.
Learn how to pursue careers in Social Work within these regions
See our Culinary Arts Brainie of the Month: Robin Simons – https://brainfoodtci.wordpress.com/2019/09/26/brainie-of-the-month-robin-simons/