What does a social worker do anyway?

When I was in the 11th grade, I took my first psychology class. I was so intrigued by the subject that I decided that this would be my major when I was accepted into college. I remember my teacher, Mr Earnest Moore, telling the class “who you are is the sum of your experiences.” That quote has stood with me every since that day.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

When I got accepted into college, I chose psychology as my major. I quickly realized that psychology was not something that I wanted to major in any more. I discovered “sociology” and decided to change my major to that. Sociology is the study of society and social norms. I took some pretty interesting classes. I did not like that when I graduated from college, I would not be guaranteed to have a job in my field.

I discovered social work and decided that this would be my major. While visiting my grandmother at a senior living apartment, my mother had to speak to the social worker on staff. I decided at that time, that I wanted to choose social work as my major. And, the rest has been history. Compared to psychology and sociology, I liked that I would be required to have a license to be considered a social worker.

March is celebrated as Social Work Month. For the next few weeks, I will be discussing the opportunities that I’ve had as a social worker, what I’ve learned as a social worker and the future of social work.

When people think of social work, they think of child and family services, children being in foster care or people who take children away from their parents. Now, please note that social workers are “mandated reporters” in the state of Alabama and some others states. This means that social workers are required to report abuse of children or vulnerable adults but this is not their primary responsibility to the profession. Social workers are professors, therapists, researchers, non-profit managers, consultants, etc. The opportunities that one is able to have with a degree in social work are pretty endless!

According to the National Association of Social Workers, a social work is “a profession devoted to helping people function the best they can in their environment”.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social workers “help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives.” 

According to the Council on Social Work Education, there are three types of social work:

  • Micro level practice: “Work directly with individuals and help them cope with their situations.”
  • Mezza level practice: “Work with groups instead of individual clients.“​
  • Macro level social work: “Lead and establish social change on a large scale through organizing, policy change, and administration.”

I obtained my bachelor’s of social work, was inducted into the Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Workers and obtained my master’s degree in social work all before the age of 25. I became licensed as a graduate level social worker and then a clinical social worker. I also decided to obtain my private independent practitioner certification.

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

Did you learn anything about social work from this post?

The post “How I Became A Social Worker” first appeared at https://itstashascorner.com/2021/03/01/so-you-take-away-peoples-kids/ on March 1, 2021.

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