How to Become a Social Worker

Do you enjoy helping people? Perhaps you see all the difficult situations people go through and wish there was a way you could attend to their needs and make a change in their life. If you have felt that way, perhaps you should consider a career as a social worker. When you are a social worker, you work with those in need to help restore or enhance their social conditions so they can function normally.
What are the educational requirements of a social worker?
For entry-level positions you will be required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in social work. You can however still apply to be a social worker if you have a bachelor’s degree in the related field of psychology or sociology. When it comes to your college career, most social work major programs will have students learn about human behavior, different types of populations, and also social welfare policy. Alongside with the classes you will be learning, you will also be required to complete an internship for college credit or supervised fieldwork. These internships and fieldwork can be beneficial for you since you can add this as experience to your resume when looking for your entry-level position.
If you wish to work in certain fields or specializations such as schools or health care, you will be required to earn a master’s degree in social work and also have post work experience in a supervised setting. It generally takes a person two years complete a master’s degree in social work but there are some programs that will allow students who have a bachelor’s degree in social work to complete it in one year. The main purpose of these master’s programs are to prepare you, the student, for the specialization you have chosen in your career as a social worker.
Are there any licenses or certifications required?
Every state has a certain licensure or certification requirement. You must do your research and see what your state requires. If you wish to be a clinical social worker, then you will be required to have a license. Alongside with your license and certification you will be required to have a certain number of hours of supervised work after you have completed your master’s program. The minimum is usually 3,000 hours of work. After the amount of hours is completed, you will then have to pass the clinical exam to obtain your license.
What are some tasks of a social worker?
There are some typical tasks that all social workers will have to fulfill. They will need to conduct interviews with clients and their families to establish and review the situation. Once the situation is established, you will then need to offer support and information for your clients and their families. Another responsibility is to maintain records and reports of each interaction. There will be times where you will have to head to court and give evidence from your interactions between you and your client. Your main overall duty is to protect and help the clients you work with.
Sources:
1. http://www.prospects.ac.uk/social_worker_job_description.htm
2. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm#tab-4

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