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What Are the Different Types of Social Worker Careers?

Social workers may build a career out of helping at-risk youth.
Adult education programs could be the focus of a social worker's career.
A social worker may specialize in helping adolescents.
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  • Written By: Phil Shepley
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2014
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Those who seek social worker careers are typically interested in helping other people to improve the quality of their lives. Usually the people who seek the help of a social worker are disadvantaged in one way or another, but this is not always the case. People can need help with a wide variety of issues, such as finding a job, seeking mental stability, fixing family problems, and many more. In order to serve this wide array of situations, there are several different types of social worker careers.

A family social worker is one type of social worker career. This type will usually focus mainly on children and their care, but will also provide aid to parents and school facilities to find solutions to issues that come about with families that need their help. The help that children need, for example, could be finding a home or helping to deal with abuse and neglect. These social workers also work closely with parents, single parents and caregivers to ensure the safety and welfare of minors. Family social workers will also help senior citizens with similar problems.

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Mental health social workers offer care for people with mental health problems, especially when little help is available elsewhere. The mental issues can include diagnoses such as schizophrenia or chronic depression, and can also branch out to substance abuse problems. These workers usually offer referrals to people with debilitating problems. These referrals can be to a variety of programs to help these people get back on their feet and live within a part of society where there exists a system of support and camaraderie with others that have similar problems. Often the social workers themselves will be a part of this support group.

More of the social worker careers deal in the fields of health and medicine. They are typically assigned to help out people who have disease that range from chronic to terminal, and aid them by providing a conduit between hospitals and the patients so the best level of care possible is provided. They may also help patients who are home from the hospital by bringing them necessities such as food and medicine that would otherwise not be provided.

These examples cover a small area of the wide variety of duties that are required across the many different social worker careers. The nature of the work means that social workers will usually be required to help people at any time of the day in addition to working an office-type job. Mainly, these careers require the jobholder to have a great sense of compassion in addition to the communication skills necessary to talk to people from many walks of life.

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anon176326
Post 3

if you are looking to become a social worker based on how much it pays, sweetheart this is not the job or career for you.

healthnwell
Post 2

@donna61--Location, and what kind of organization you are working with, both play a part in what you will earn as a social worker.

Typically, the salary ranges from the high $20,000's-$40,000's annually. You can also increase your salary by getting a higher degree. This salary range is based on having a bachelor's degree in social work.

My sister is a social worker in a big city and loves it.

donna61
Post 1

Does anyone know what I can expect to earn as a social worker? I would hate to get my degree only to find out I won't earn enough to pay back my student loans.

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