Social Work Careers

Social Work is a profession devoted to helping people function at their best in their environment.

Social work can involve providing services or therapy directly to people or working for change to improve social conditions.

Aging and Gerontology

Child Welfare

Public Welfare

The U.S. population is aging.  We live in a country where people over 65 outnumber teenagers.  This translates into a tremendous need-and a variety of opportunities-for social work with older persons and their families

Child welfare social workers are advocates for American’s most silent minority; out nation’s youth.

Public welfare provides income and support services to society’s most vulnerable people-children, the ill, the elderly, and the disabled.  Although some of these people will always need services, traditional thinking about how to help is changing as the nation debates welfare reform.  How to foster self-sufficiency and move people into the mainstream is today’s challenges complicated by an increase in social problems and general decrease in funds.

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Advocacy and Intervention

Home Health Care

Geriatric Case Management

Public Policy

Adult Day Care

Family Services

Family Preservation

Child Day Care

Child Protection Family

Foster Care

Group Care Adoption

Advocacy and Intervention

Income Maintenance

Adult Protective Services

Housing Services/Management


Public Policy



Development Disabilities

Employment & Occupational Social Work

Corrections and justice is a field in which a social work can focus on rehabilitation and the constructive use of authority.

People with developmental disabilities may at some time seek out social services.

Employment and occupational social workers help workers with problems that affect their job performance and satisfaction.  Employee assistance programs is a growing practice area.

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Youth Services


Case Management

Planning Research

Policy Program Evaluation

Clinical Social Work

Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Treatment

Health and Wellness Education

Grass Roots Organizing

Health Care

Mental Health/Clinical Social Work

Educational Requirements

Social workers are needed in hospitals, clinics and other medical and health care settings to facilitate medical and emotional treatment.  They are vital members of the health care team, working in concert with doctors, nurses and other health professionals.

Many people at times in their lives need mental health services to get the most out of life.  Clinical social workers are the largest group of professionally trained mental health providers in the United States, supplying more than half of counseling and therapy services.  These mental health professionals help people find solutions to problems ranging from inability to cope with stress to severe mental illness.

To be a social worker, requires a degree in social work from a college or university program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.  The undergraduate degree is the Bachelor of Social Work.  Graduate degrees include the Master of Social Work and the Doctorate in Social Work.  A Master of Social Work is required to provide therapy.

Degree programs involve classroom study as well as practical field experience.  The bachelor’s degree prepares graduates for entry-level work.  The master of Social Work is required for more advanced practice.  A Doctorate is required for doing research or teaching at the university level.

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Related Areas

Hospital Social Work

AIDS Counseling/Education



Home Health Care

Case Management

Maternal and Child Health

Physical Rehabilitation

Chemical Dependency

Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Treatment

Individual and Family Psychotherapy and Counseling

Grief Counseling

Victim Service

Group Therapy

Community Organization

International Social Work


Policy and Planning



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