What do Licensed Social Workers do?
Jan 30, 2015 | 12:00 pm
In a Utopian ideal world, all basic human needs would be fulfilled; shelter, food, clothing, protection, emotional support, but in reality, every society contains its share of individuals who lack one or more of the criteria to ensure their physical and emotional well-being. Our society provides a number of agencies dedicated to meeting the needs of those who for economic or psychological reasons have been unable to provide a quality of life. Many of these are government sponsored, although some are directed by charities.
Fulfilling a Need
Licensed social workers generally work for government sponsored programs, although some are hired by national and international organizations. Although there are many functions within social work that do not require a degree, licensed social workers must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in psychology or sociology. Along with their academic studies, they are passed through a regiment of tests designed to measure the foreknowledge of the various fields of social work and their degree of commitment to social justice, the betterment of society and the patients they will be helping on an everyday basis.
The Charitable Heart
Social work is usually associated immediately with charity, but more accurately, it is the product of a charitable heart. The goal of licensed social workers is to help people in dire straits. This can not only mean finding homes for the homeless, setting up abuse counsels, processing food stamp recipients or providing resources for jobs or higher education, it can also mean substance abuse counseling, stress management and family support.
Financially stable families might still seek the services of licensed social workers if they are struggling to deal with the problems of an alcoholic family member or that need a support group for dealing with grief, depression, trauma or the effects of a debilitating disease. What licensed social service workers do is practice within their specialized field and help people overcome their individual and familial problems.
Integrated Social Work
What is a licensed social worker? Licensed social workers have a wide number of options for practicing their skills. Some go into national and international social work, providing fieldwork within specific areas, from offices to generate aid for social work or in conducting research and advocating for social work at various levels of the government.
Some specialized fields for licensed social workers may require a Master’s degree or better, such as medical assistance in home care, extended care facilities, some overseas practices or in psychological counseling. Some licensed social workers pursue the legal aspects, many beginning their careers as victim’s advocates, attending court appearances with their clients, helping them understand their legal documents and giving emotional support to their clients during the decision making process.
What licensed social workers do helps maintain a humanitarian perspective in a society that sometimes forgets all but their own troubles. They add stability to distressed communities and provide a life raft for stricken families. Some work in the most poverty stricken areas of the world, others work in large cities with gleaming facilities. They service small towns and rural outposts. They provide the means to acquire aid for everything from a hot meal to a traumatic individual or family crisis. Their income is modest. The average pay ranges from thirty thousand to fifty thousand a year. Their commitment comes from compassion, from a strong set of convictions in the humane approach to social problems, and a realization that a healthy community depends on healthy individuals.