Advancing a practice methodology that specifically targets the socially unskilled, Norma C. Lang provides much-needed guidance to practitioners helping individuals become part of group life. Grounded in extensive practice, Lang's methodology addresses the special needs and anomalous functioning of individuals who lack the skills to form and use groups. She outlines the unique pregroup processes of socially unskilled populations and provides a methodology for advancing social competence. She also identifies the professional and agency requirements for working with presocial processes.
Widely applicable to practice with social work groups, Lang's method greatly expands the literature on social work theory and practice with individuals and groups. Sees patients in a hospital setting, which may mean providing more acute care on an on-call basis. For example, someone may arrive in the emergency room after a failed suicide attempt or threaten to commit harm to themselves or others.
Sees pediatric patients, usually in a clinic or school setting. Handles child-specific illnesses, behaviors, and temperaments that can arise in either normal or stressful situations for the child. While this concentration can overlap with mental health, it may present an entirely different set of mental, physical and emotional instabilities that a social worker can guide the addict through.
This sometimes means helping patients work through withdrawal periods. The social worker may meet with patients who struggle with addiction currently, or she may assist recovering addicts who are trying to fix their problems while avoiding the substances they were once addicted to. Works with patients to identify the reasons behind their addictions and the best ways to confront and beat the addiction.
May meet one-on-one with patients or lead group discussions. Teaches groups and individuals how to prevent an addiction from forming. May assess patients for risks and begin preventative treatment or lead classes with exercises enabling clients to take action themselves. Works in a clinical setting seeing and treating patients with long-term addictions.
Develops treatment plans for dealing with withdrawal and preventing relapses while uncovering physical, mental and emotional triggers that must be avoided. Social workers can help coordinate medical care, resources, and services as well as perform assessments and provide counseling. They may also work with specific groups of people within the family unit, such as children or pregnant women.
Listens to children in a school setting and guides them in finding the services and resources they need while also ensuring they are in a positive mental state. May include everything from regulating poor behavior in the classroom to helping graduating students find suitable universities. Advocates, assesses, and provides therapy for children dealing with social issues or who are in stressful situations, such as those in families dealing with abuse or divorce. May involve arranging to remove children from dangerous situations and placing them in foster homes.
PAdvises the entire family to help each individual work on relationships with other members. May mediate in situations like divorce or addiction and help the family recover as a unit. Social workers can coordinate medical care in a hospital or clinic, or in the home. They can provide emotional and behavioral therapeutic care if their clients develop a mental disorder or other emotional or social problems. Social workers may also help their clients devise solutions for financial issues, such as finding employment or living on a fixed income, and coordinate the government or community services that can provide aid.
Works with older adults to solve the problems they experience and develop at an older age. May cover everything from memory and cognitive issues to depression and grief.
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May include physical and mental healthcare or coordinating anything else that might make the patient more comfortable despite chronic ailments. This concentration is dedicated to determining the needs of a specific community and devising solutions using resources from both local and external sources, such as grants, state or national organizations, or the government. A community health social worker can help people navigate the complex web of financial, social, and educational services available.
Some positions are possible with an associate degree, but the more complex the job, the higher the degree that is needed. Works in a community center environment, helping clients find the best health, financial and social programs to provide assistance. Offers mental healthcare guidance in individual and group settings. Provides a wide range of care to disaster-struck victims of a community.
May include mental health therapy for grief or depression or coordinating social services to help clients rebuild their lives. Enables community members to gain the educational and job-related opportunities they need to succeed in the workforce. May coordinate with local businesses and organizations to provide knowledge and skills important for employment.
If a student is trying to earn a social work degree while working or attending to other responsibilities, an online program may be a strong option. However, online schools have their own benefits and drawbacks, so when it comes time to selecting an online social work degree, students should keep these factors in mind:. While accreditation is not required, unaccredited schools may not qualify for financial aid programs and degrees may not be accepted by other institutions for transfer credits or even by future employers.
On the institutional level, a school should be accredited by an organization that is recognized by the U.
Social work offers so many different concentrations that no one school can cover them all. Do your due diligence to pick a degree program you can actually apply to your future. Some may also have a Master of Public Administration or MPA, which enables social workers to dig deeper into the government and nonprofit management aspects of the field. Ideally, faculty should have completed doctorates and thus have done the extensive research and fieldwork needed to demonstrate best practices in the domain of social work. This includes new systems and policies, evolving diagnostic and treatment methods, and ways to formulate solutions for problems that could emerge as time goes on.
Along the way to becoming a full-fledged social worker, students develop many related skills, earn credentials, and become familiar with using a variety of tools and technologies. Empathy and communicative strengths top the list of essential traits for the profession, including active listening in interacting with patients or peers.
To counsel clients who are experiencing heightened emotions due to a particular stressor, such as finances, relationships or addictions, social workers need a sense of empathy and the ability to hold an insightful and meaningful dialogue. Social workers must have excellent time-management skills and the ability to navigate through potentially technical and lengthy sets of regulations and paperwork. When tending to multiple clients, appointments may be cancelled or run long, or emergency appointments may come up, so a social worker needs to be able to manage time seeing clients as well.
In addition, social workers must have superior organizational and information management skills. They may be responsible for managing multiple clients or projects and often must maintain detailed records. Social workers should possess discretion and a good understanding of ethical standards. Those employed in clinical work, in particular, may be privy to sensitive data that must be kept confidential. The ability to find resources — and to potentially think outside the box when doing so — are also key attributes.
Social workers need to have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the policies involved in coordinating services for clients. If a social worker is trying to secure government or nonprofit funds for a group or individual, she must know the proper channels to go through, the paperwork that needs to be completed, the approvals she needs and other aspects of the process that clients may not be familiar with.
This certification demonstrates knowledge and experience to meet or exceed expectations in social work beyond the state level and at the national level as well. These credentials are voluntary, but with them, social workers are recognized for leadership, competence and dedication to the field. The most important technological tool for social workers is case management software. This software enables social workers to handle scheduling, organize notes, track intake, save and review patient information, and take care of other day-to-day tasks related to organization, time management and effectiveness.
These applications are particularly crucial if a social worker has a private practice, and will probably be provided for employees at an institution such as a clinic or hospital. From insurance and paperwork to patient bill reminders and taxes, the right technology can help make sure all of the financials are managed on a daily basis.
Theories Used in Social Work Practice & Practice Models
This means no surprises for anyone involved, including social workers, clients and staff. Social workers are a hot commodity in the 21st century and should continue to be in-demand members of society. The BLS expects healthcare social workers to see 27 percent growth in job opportunities from to This is especially true in light of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which has expanded access to healthcare services for many Americans.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in four adults experiences mental illness in any given year. Because social workers are the most common type of mental health professionals available to the community, this occupation will be more important than ever to solve the evolving issues that come with tending to the needs of an expanding populace. If you like the idea of social work but are looking for a slightly different career path, you have plenty of options.
Other careers usually come with their own educational trajectory. Occupations related to social work can offer you some of the aspects of social work you enjoy along with other opportunities to use your knowledge and experience to serve others. Average annual salaries in for similar professions are shown below. According to Payscale, the highest-paying skills for social workers are hospice, psychiatric, assessment and group therapy.
Armed with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about your education, put that information to work by searching through the many schools available. You're about to search for degree programs related to a career that you are researching. It's important to recognize that a degree may be required for a career or increase your chances of employment but it is not a guarantee of employment when you complete your degree.
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Social Worker Career Basics Social workers offer a broad range of services at the federal, state and local levels. In-Depth Look at Social Work Careers Although all social workers share a common goal of helping others, professionals have the opportunity to specialize their services and focus on certain populations.
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Social Work Degree Paths If a student is considering a career in social work, there are many different routes he or she can take, each of which presents its own set of opportunities. I want opportunities beyond entry-level social work jobs, ideally in a concentration I choose. I'm looking for flexible class times so I can keep my job while I earn my degree. I'm looking for managerial opportunities or the chance to start my own practice. I prefer to focus primarily on research or education as a social work career. I hope to work at higher levels of management in a clinical or organizational setting.
Introduction to Social Work General overview of social work for those interested in this field or related careers. Introduction to Human Development Exploration of how humans develop physically, cognitively, culturally, and socially over their lives. Introduction to General Psychology Broad overview of major psychology disciplines and topics. Introduction to Social Problems Basic survey of many conflicts and problems that exist in modern society.
Statistics and Research for Social Workers This course teaches the foundations for conducting research and analyzing statistics and outcomes. The Child and the Law Curriculum tackles different aspects of the law, both civil and criminal, and how these affect and apply to children. Health Services and Systems An introduction to this complex and intricate arena gives students the tools to navigate health systems while coordinating and providing care for others.
Social Welfare Policy and Services This course focuses on the welfare of a wide range of populations, both currently and historically. Theoretical Bases of Social Behavior This course takes an in-depth look at human behavior and how and why social behaviors have evolved. Social Work and Diverse Populations This course offers a more thorough and analytical approach to address social and cultural diversity, both theoretically and in practice. Health and Mental Health Policy This course provides a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills related to social work in healthcare.
Advanced, extensive knowledge base Those with doctoral education become a resource for colleagues and can earn increased trust from community leaders. Leadership With a doctorate in social work, graduates can lead research teams at universities and for various organizations, including the government. Advanced research strategies Social work research is complex, and those who have earned a doctorate have probably come up with ways to conduct extensive and innovative research projects.
Methodologies for policy analysis and administration A PhD candidate has likely not only learned about the policies and program administration related to social work--he or she has also navigated those channels many times. Mental Health. Clinical Social Worker Sees patients in a clinical setting, usually in private practice or in a shared practice with other social workers, psychiatrists or mental health professionals. Hospital Social Worker Sees patients in a hospital setting, which may mean providing more acute care on an on-call basis.
Rehabilitation Center Addiction Counselor Works with patients to identify the reasons behind their addictions and the best ways to confront and beat the addiction. Prevention Specialist Teaches groups and individuals how to prevent an addiction from forming. Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor Works in a clinical setting seeing and treating patients with long-term addictions. Families and Children. School Guidance Counselor Listens to children in a school setting and guides them in finding the services and resources they need while also ensuring they are in a positive mental state.
Family Counselor PAdvises the entire family to help each individual work on relationships with other members.
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Adulthood and Aging. Geriatric Social Worker Works with older adults to solve the problems they experience and develop at an older age. Community Health Center Social Worker Works in a community center environment, helping clients find the best health, financial and social programs to provide assistance.
Disaster Relief Specialist Provides a wide range of care to disaster-struck victims of a community. Occupational Therapist Enables community members to gain the educational and job-related opportunities they need to succeed in the workforce. Top Specialty Areas in Social Work. Accreditation While accreditation is not required, unaccredited schools may not qualify for financial aid programs and degrees may not be accepted by other institutions for transfer credits or even by future employers.