Social Worker Essay Sample
The main drivers of social work are the areas of social justice and human rights. The whole genre of social work draws its uniqueness in some particular values, skills as well as some knowledge in the area of social work. All the involvement and interventions involved in respect of the people being served depends on the rapport between the client and the social worker (Melchert, 2011). The profession of social workers has recently become essential amidst the increasing social tensions and the wide spreading insecurities.
The paper on Social Worker as the profession of interest seeks to elaborate on the professional perspectives on various issues such as those of human services, addictions, the welfare of children, as well as mental health. There is a description of the profession as a whole and the requirements for getting involved in the whole field of social work. The different areas of concern such as the barriers and skills in the life of a social worker are well covered. The source of the information in the report was a clinical nurse, whose views were sought by asking about the entire concept of social work as a profession.
The profession of a social worker involves helping of families, groups, individuals, as well as communities. The profession ensures that the collective, as well as individual well-being, get enhanced. It also aims at helping people develop abilities and grow their skills in the use of the available resources. The work is concerned with problems centering on personal issues, and it also deals with issues in broader fields such as unemployment, poverty, and domestic violence.
The operating settings of the social workers are in agencies involving children and family services, provincial as well as federal institutions, and hospitals dealing with both general and psychiatric cases. The work of social workers also extends to school boards and correction facilities. The social and health services take the largest share in the concentration of social workers followed by government industries. Private practice offices have few number of workers though their number has been on the increase in the recent past.
Qualifications for the Profession
The levels of training in the social work sector are in five levels. One starts with a Diploma in Social Work, which is then followed by an undergraduate degree; a Bachelor of Social Work. The subsequent level is that of Masters of Social Work. The next two levels are the Doctor of Philosophy and Doctor of Social Work. The education level required to enter into the social work career depends on the type of work and the setting of the work. However, in most provinces, the minimum level of entry is a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW). There are some cases, though, where the minimum requirement is a Diploma in Social Work. Some of the universities offering BSW require a student to have an approved Bachelor’s degree (Kenkel & Peterson, 2010). As such, Bachelor of Social Work is commonly done as a second degree for a further two years.
In general, the entry to programs of social work requires a grade average in the range of 65%- 70% in the undergraduate degree or whichever pre-professional studies that were taken. One also has to be through with the course work areas in Humanities, Social Sciences, English as well as the introductory courses in social work. Written statements explaining your interest in the Social Work area of profession are also necessary. One would also require letters of reference as well as experience in volunteer work in human and social services with a direct connection with social work. Entry into this field of profession is also not exempted to interviews by selected committees.
For one to be a social worker, licensing is compulsory. The licensing is the surest certification in the approval of social workers. Licensing requirements vary from state to state. However, the basic licensing steps are standard. For instance, the licensing of clinical social workers requires the passing of a clinical exam, completion of two years that amount to 3000 hours of professionally supervised experience after completion of the undergraduate course. Also, a master’s degree in the field of social work is required from a recognized and accredited program. Professionals would be in a better position if they continually contacted the state regulatory boards for the necessary compliance requirements in terms of education requirements. As such, the varying state-to-state requirements would not be a barrier in their professional life.
Typical Work Setting: Professional Issues
The work of social workers is to relate to the community and ensure that the vulnerable groups within are protected from any mishandling. The main role of the social workers, as such, is to offer support to help the service recipients support themselves. Social workers act as guides and advocate the rights of all the vulnerable individuals in any community setting. In some cases, social workers are required to make professional judgments in hard decisions. The decisions must, however, not be in the favor of their clients (Ribner, 2002). Despite the decisions not being in the favor of the clients, the social worker knows that the outcome benefits the client and the community as a whole.
The settings that social workers operate in are within a framework of procedures and legislations aimed at the support of families, individuals, and community groups. The settings may range from voluntary organizations, hospital premises, schools, and homes. The specialty of social workers is in vulnerable adults and families and children. The role of social workers can be a challenging role. Occasionally, the media gives this area of work a lot of attention which can at times end up negative and things get wrongly handled. As such, the government is putting in place measures that ensure that the social workers have a very strong workforce. The qualified social workers work closely with other professionals in the health and social sector. Assistant Social Workers also are employed to assist in the broad work handled by the professionals.
Social work can either be statutory or non-statutory. In the former, the social workers adhere to a set of laws set to protect the well-being of all vulnerable clients. A basic requirement for social workers is to enforce their power and abide by the legislations in the profession. On the other hand, in non-statutory roles, the social workers work with a similar group of clients but are not specifically mandated to enforce any laws (Trierweiler & Stricker, 1998). As such, those in the non-statutory sector end up as specialists or in the vast charity sector. There they support the alcohol and drug addicts. The non-statutory social workers also work toward the prevention of escalation of societal problems where there is a requirement for statutory requirements.
Government legislation focuses on social and health work integration. The social workers, as such, work in multidisciplinary groups. Some attend to the elderly, to those living with physical disabilities, young offenders, school non-attenders and even the homeless. Mentally ill individuals, as well as, those addicted to drugs also receive attendance.
Some activities that social workers get involved in entail interacting with service users and participating in legal processes such as giving evidence in court. They offer information required by their clients and provide organized packages of support to aid clients live their full lives. Some ensure that the proper and appropriate referrals are made to other agencies. They also make decisions and ensure that the clients stick to the decision that are in most cases, not impulsive. They also maintain accurate case records and prepare with great skill reports to be used in the legal actions that they participate. Notably, social workers are also involved in the training and team meetings meant to improve the quality of services offered.
Professional Interventions and Assessments
The professionals and students in social work are expected to be ready to interact with individuals whose lives are encompassed by the most controversial issues. As such, they should always be armed with some information about the sensitive societal issues. Such issues are unavoidable in the field of social work. For this reason, there must be a compassionate, appropriate and professional way of dealing with such matters. Some of the issues that social workers often come across include adoption, abortion rights, child abuse, capital punishment, domestic abuse, rape and similar sexual assaults, and euthanasia.
The social work students should have an overview of the pro-life and pro-choice debates in the previous years and the current standings. The social workers also need to understand the moral dilemmas that they expect to come across. They also should be familiar with the ethical guidelines that the National Association of Social Workers that will govern the extents to which an issue can be handled without so much controversy coming up. The issues in child adoption also fall in the center of the field of the social workers. As such, the social workers ought to understand their role in raising awareness of those subjected to the adoptive legislations. They should provide the appropriate information to the children as well as the parents involved in the adoption processes.
The social workers are also expected to intervene in the circumstances of capital punishment. They should understand how best death could be mitigated especially in the legal proceedings stage. Social workers can provide expert testimonies in court cases where death penalties are potential sentence outcomes. In cases where the death was not mitigated, the social workers should be ready for the affected families as no one is always on their side. Another social issue is on child abuse (Plante, 2011). Social workers should understand the whole subject of child neglect and abuse. They should also get the views of different professionals on issues pertaining to the outcomes of child sexual abuse. As such, they gain the various techniques used in the treatment and the past outcomes of such cases.
Reflection and Conclusion
Being a social worker is a noble profession. The work of a social worker requires skill and dedication. One gets to help the needy and the vulnerable in the society; offering an invaluable service. The profession is very delicate as it involves interaction with human clients who to some extent are irrational such as abused children and clients in unstable domestic settings. Hence, the skills required to qualify one as a social worker are very sensitive. The government should ensure that the social workers’ sectors should be well safeguarded as well as financed. The social workers keep the country running by being there for the underprivileged. It ensures that the rule of the jungle does not prevail in the human society. It provides rationality to the global communities. More workforce should be put in place if the social imbalances are ever to be phased out. Any person searching for a profession will choose to be a social work if they plan to positively change the world.
Kenkel, M. B, & Peterson, R. L. (Eds.). (2010). Competency-based Education for Professional Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Melchert, T. P. (2011). Foundations of professional psychology. Boston: Elsevier.
Plante, T. G. (2011). Contemporary Clinical Psychology (3rd Ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Ribner, N. G. (Ed.). (2002). California School of Professional Psychology Handbook of Juvenile Forensic Psychology. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Trierweiler, S. J., & Stricker, G. (1998). The Scientific Practice of Professional Psychology. New York: Plenum Press.
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