The role of a social worker will depend on what type of social work a person has been hired to do. However, in general, social workers are hired to help people who need it or who are or have experienced a crisis of some type. They may work with individuals or entire families. As mentioned above, a social worker’s duties or role will depend on their particular job. Below, we will list several social work jobs and provide a brief description of the duties a social worker who works in any of these capacities, is expected to take on.
Psychiatric Social Worker: A person who works as a psychiatric social worker will assist people with emotional or mental disorders or problems. Such disorders or problems may exist as a result of mental illness or after witnessing and/or experiencing abuse, neglect or some other type of unfortunate circumstances. A social worker will work to provide these individuals with the resources that need to help them manage their disorder(s) or its effects. Improvement and functionality are the ultimate goals.
School Social Worker: School social workers work within schools, hence the name. Today, many will be required to provide support services for multiple schools or even an entire district. A person that works in this capacity will help students and their families based on their particular needs. For instance, a school social worker may help a homeless student and his or her family, find shelter or obtain clothing. They might also be asked to find a counselor or other support services for a student that is experiencing mental and/or emotional problems.
Medical Social Worker: Medical social workers are employed at hospitals and other types of medical facilities. They will work alongside patients and their families to help them make what may be tough health care decisions. They might also educate families about resources in the community which may be of help to them. Some will even make arrangements for patients and their families to use those resources. This is a very important role, as individuals and their families find themselves struggling to come to terms with a medical diagnosis or condition.
The role of a social worker will vary. There are all sorts of jobs in this field. Although the underlying role of all social work is to assist people, the day to day duties may differ. It will be important for social workers to really investigate the different types of jobs and roles required of each job, before deciding on which one is right for them. By being informed, a person increases the likelihood that they will end up doing something that they really enjoy.
Social work is for people who are compassionate and who desire to help others every day of their professional lives. Admittedly, it’s not for everyone but those in which it is, it can be very rewarding, albeit, stressful at times. Taking a personal inventory to determine what a person needs professionally, in order to be satisfied with their life’s work is important. For some people the role of a social worker will provide it, because their role in social services is enough to satisfy them in the ways that matter most.