A Closer Look at a Career as a Social Worker
Social workers might not be as conspicuous as government officials, politicians, or even the police or law enforcement personnel, but they are equally important in keeping the community safe and stable. Although they might not be in the spotlight, social workers play integral roles in establishing a better society.
Social Workers – What You Need to Know
Social workers’ main responsibility is to work closely with individuals and families to evaluate a variety of issues and to be of assistance to help in understanding and cope with emotional and social issues. They can work with people from specific age groups, cultural backgrounds, socio-economic status, gender, and others, depending on the organization they are employed under. For instance, there are social workers who work under agencies that specifically deal with immigrant families.
Regardless of the type of organization or branch they are working for, social workers’ primary goal is to leverage their critical and analytical thinking skills, so they can do a thorough needs assessment of the individuals or families who come to them for help or who are usually referred to as their clients. Once they are able to properly identify the clients’ needs, they must harness their research abilities to find information that are relevant to address those needs. While social workers refer the clients to other resources like support groups and the like, it is their responsibility to provide comprehensive information on what the next steps would be.
In some facilities, social workers are also assigned with responsibilities that promote socialization among affected individuals. For instance, a social worker under the employment of a shelter may be asked to help with activities planning such as movie nights or field trips.
According to PayScale.com, a social worker can earn an average of $49,979 per year with potential for profit sharing in some cases. The branches where social workers can earn the most are in group therapy, patient counseling, and child advocacy.
For aspiring social workers, a good step to start is to earn a Bachelor of Social Work degree from a Canadian university that has been accredited by the Canadian Association for Social Work Education (CASWE). The education and training will involve theoretical courses and practical training. It will be a definite plus to earn a Master’s degree in Social Work as well.
After completing the necessary education, they must obtain a license prior to working as a social worker anywhere in Canada. Each province has enacted legislation and established social work regulatory bodies to govern the profession in line with the legislation.
Most importantly though, an important aspect to thrive in this industry is having the natural desire to help people and guide them to be valuable members of the society. They should possess a keen understanding of people from all walks of life to be able to leverage sensitivity for a multitude of cultures, backgrounds, and lifestyles and build trust and understanding.
Pros and Cons
A career in social work can prove to be a truly rewarding one—emotionally speaking—if you like helping people and the community. Every social worker will have their favourite heartwarming story to tell about a client they have helped in their communities. Being an instrument for positive change is definitely something to look forward to as a social worker.
Being a social worker can be physically demanding in terms of work schedule when you are trying to beat deadlines as per client requirements or keeping with a quota for clients’ needs assessments. In some instances, it can be emotionally or mentally draining as well especially when you are assigned to cases of delicate nature, like providing assistance to victims of domestic or child abuse. In such cases, social workers must not let their emotions get in the way of their work and ensure the individuals are provided with the appropriate resources or are referred to the correct services.