A social worker is in the business of improving the lives of people in need; from juvenile delinquents to the poor elderly. It is a very personal profession, immersed in the lives of troubled individuals and families.
In movies and sitcoms, it is a social worker that accompanies foster children into new homes, facilitates activities in group homes, and arranges and files all their paperwork. It is a social worker that guides these people into having better, more stable lives.
If you have a passion for helping uplift struggling people, consider becoming a social worker. It is no easy job, having to see people who are at rock bottom. But the success that comes with helping them get out and up of those lows is certainly worth it all. For more on the duties and responsibilities entailed by the profession of a social worker, see these Job Description Samples.
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Where Social Workers May Be Found
To be a social worker, you are usually required to be a certified civil servant. You will be working under the government for the people in your community that need your help. Through the years, however, there has been a steady increase of social work under private institutions like NGOs or Non-Governmental Organizations.
You may do social work in any of these settings:
- state welfare institutions or departments,
- correctional facilities,
- family services,
- charities and group homes,
- homes for the elderly, and
- schools, among many others.
What Social Workers Do
Broadly and quite simply, a social worker does social work, which entails help, guidance, and support. You will be dealing with people, either as individuals or in groups and families.
In general, this entails the following steps:
- an assessment of the individual or group in focus,
- studying the situations they are in,
- identifying the type of care and the resources to be provided,
- handing legalities through paperwork or court appearances, and
- comprehensive documentation. For more on a social worker’s duties and responsibilities, read through these Social Worker Job Description Samples.
What the Qualifications for Social Workers Are
- Academic Requirement. To become a social worker, you could either have fulfilled a bachelor’s degree or a postgraduate diploma in social work. Undergraduate courses on social work are relatively new in the academe, and typically goes for three years. The more common route is to get a postgraduate diploma from social work programs that run for two years at most institutions. It is preferred that the undergraduate course that you have taken prior to the two-year program is on psychology, social sciences, or in any other related field.
- Certification. Thereafter, you must be recognized by your national board or institution for social work.
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Social Workers vs Customer Service Professionals
Although both jobs deal firsthand with people and their needs, they differ primarily on the fields they are in. While social work may be found in the settings listed above, customer service professionals work for companies and businesses. For more on their work, see these Customer Service Manager Job Description Samples. Furthermore, social workers are more immersed into the lives of their clients, whereas customer service professionals assist clients and customers in getting the products and services that they need.
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