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Q&A: I would like to be a child, family, or school social worker, but I dont know what i would be doing?

by tom44 on November 10, 2013

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Question by wha?: I would like to be a child, family, or school social worker, but I dont know what i would be doing?
I want to know what a social worker does. all i get from resing things online os that a social worker is sort of like a phycologist and thats not what i want to do exactly. I want to help improve peoples living conditions, make sure they get the education they need, and assistance of any sort. Is this what a social worker does? What other fmajors should i look into where i cna help people in need.

Best answer:

Answer by Stimpson J. Cat
Yes, social workers do the things you described. They help people obtain government benefits if eligible. They know who is eligible for what types of benefits. Getting benefits improves peoples’ living conditions (well, except for us taxpayers, it doesn’t improve our living conditions, but that’s another story!).

Some social workers do work in counseling, and perform more of a psychologist role, but that is only one aspect of social work.

Look online for the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Then look up “social worker”. There should be a comprehensive description of all aspects of the job.

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One thought on “Q&A: I would like to be a child, family, or school social worker, but I dont know what i would be doing?

  1. Dorian says:

    Well, it depends on what kind of social worker you want to be. Here’s the main kind and what they do (hope it helps):

    There are social workers that work for CPS. They are investigators and case managers. They deal with allegations of abuse and children that have suffered from abuse and neglect. It is demanding but rewarding work and pays really well in a few states.

    There is also APS (Adult Protective Services). They investigate allegations of abuse and neglect among the elderly, including financial abuse. Their educational requirements are the same as CPS (I listed below) and the pay is about the same.

    Public school districts also have social workers. They do some counseling with children and usually help families access services in their area.

    Hospitals also have social workers. Their job is usually to report to CPS if there are concerns (school social workers do this too) and to help families with services – such has finding respite care, helping new moms sign up for WIC and get free car seats. They usually don’t have long-term involvement with a family.

    The military hires civilian social workers for their Family Advocacy programs. They do a little informal counseling, help military families with getting services and run programs – everything from anger management and domestic violence classes to parenting classes and social groups.

    Family Courts also use social workers (at least in California) as family court mediators. You meet the parents, assess where the child would be best off and then make recommendations to the judge. Once you figure out what you’d like to do, you’ll be able to look up the qualifications.

    For the military, hospitals, school and family court you almost always need a masters degree (MFT – Marriage and Family Therapy or MSW – Master’s of Social Work). For CPS you usually only need a bachelors degree. Keep in mind (if money is an issue) that the government offers the Title IV-E program in just about every state. The program is for social work students who want to get a master’s degree. You get free tuition (plus a stipend for living expenses) to get a MSW degree. Then to pay it back, you have to work in that state (where ever you went to school) for CPS for a certain number of years. It’s usually three years or four. This is a great option and if you do this, choose somewhere like California or New York where CPS workers actually get paid well.

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