4 Social Work Degree Careers

Acquiring a social work degree is a great way to jump into many different career fields. In general, all social work jobs are designed to help others deal with their day to day issues. These issues can range from family life to mental health issues. It takes a strong and dedicated person to handle a social work career. The hours are long, the conversations with patients are often challenging, and the pay is sometimes lacking. That being said, the rewards of taking a career as a social worker are endless.

Social workers are credited with helping families overcome difficult situations in order to get back to their normal lives. Many social workers have helped teens and adults move past drug and alcohol abuse issues, typically moving on to lead productive lives. Social workers are often court appointed after a person has committed a crime, but other times they are brought in by friends, family members, and sometimes members of the community. In contrast, a social worker may choose to bring the law into the situation, but usually they are simply there to give advice where needed and be a support system of sorts.

Child, Family and School Social Worker

Many social workers work in schools, visit families weekly, and talk to children as much as possible in order to gauge any possible child welfare situations. Accusations of child abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, unhealthy living situations, and truancy are all reasons a social worker may be brought in to help schools, families, and children. These social workers are well trained to investigate the situation at hand to the fullest degree possible in order to make sure children are in a safe environment.

A social worker may also be called to aid in the process of overcoming grief, depression, or anxiety after a life changing event affecting a child--perhaps the death of a parent, divorce of parents, or death of a sibling. Child, family and school social workers are intended to advise parents and teachers on how to cope with difficult children, and how to help children overcome emotional stress. 

Mental Health Social Worker

Mental health and substance abuse social worker careers are very unique. They are often referred to as clinical social workers, occupational social workers, and substance abuse social workers. These types of social workers will work with teenagers and adults to overcome their mental issues or substance addictions. Mental health social workers work with people facing depression, anxiety, personality disorders, and other mental health issues.

Substance Abuse Social Worker

Substance abuse social workers typically work with alcoholics and people addicted to hard drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, heroine, and increasingly, prescription drugs. Substance abuse social workers may create group therapy sessions, or appropriate rehabilitation programs, in order to help their client overcome an addiction. 

Social Work Administration and Policymaker

Many social work degree recipients go on to take jobs in government administration. Their task is to create government policy for issues relating to social work. These positions are important because they ensure the efficiency of social work in the community.