Social Workers

Social Workers

Poverty. Addiction. Elder, child or spousal abuse. Mental illness. As a licensed clinical social worker, you are the professional we look to you to deal up-close-and-personal with some of society’s most troubling and disturbing issues. Your duties include counseling individuals to gain access to resources while confronting issues adversely affecting their lives. A variety of private, public and non-profit organizations use your expertise, with the greatest number of employment opportunities occurring in urban areas, where you may find yourself working in residential facilities, hospitals, offices and the homes of clients. While case management (linking people with agencies and programs that serve them best) is a huge part of your job, many of you and your fellow social workers are also adept in human services management, social welfare policy analysis, community organizing, advocacy, teaching (in schools of social work), and social science research. In tandem with other health professionals, you provide your services in both one-on-one counseling and group therapy settings, using your keen observation skills to evaluate patients with emotional problems. After developing treatment plans, you engage clients in taking an active part in their own treatment. You are also skilled at directing clients to other resources for assistance, giving them the tools they need to find the treatment that serves them best. Adding to your skill set, you possess the ability to work well with governmental agencies designed to deal with these issues on a large scale. Times were when people dealt with their most troubling issues within the confines of their own homes. Turning to an outsider when facing child behavior problems, depression, bereavement, substance abuse, marital difficulties, or domestic violence was rare even just a few decades ago. Today, many individuals, families and married couples turn to you, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFCC) for support and counseling for these as well as a host of other issues. Your expertise often provides effective solutions to help overcome many of life’s daily obstacles and helps individuals and families find balance using a variety of techniques that can be introduced within the context of their relationships. Helping to modify perceptions and teaching patients how to make changes in their own behavior, you seek to enable both individuals and family groups deal more effectively and rationally with the challenges life hands them. And whether you, as a marriage and family therapist, do this in clinics, hospitals, agency settings, mental health centers or in individual practices, your ability to “talk through” your clients’ fears, anger and needs — whether it is a family grappling with extreme dysfunction or a couple trying to save a marriage — can lead to finding root causes to many issues. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for the behavioral sciences is expected to grow at the faster rate than the average of all other professions over the next few years, making your license one capable of providing a long-term livelihood. But because of the subjective nature of your work, your professional licenses can come under scrutiny. For although a counselor can treat and monitor a client’s or a family’s issues, he or she cannot control clients’ behavior or attitudes outside the clinical setting.