Social Worker - Job Description, Duties, Education, Skills, Salary, & Growth

Social Worker

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Job Description

 

Social workers are skilled professionals who work with people to help them function at the best of their abilities within the scope of challenges they face in their personal situation or living environment.

Social workers assist individuals, communities and groups to enhance or restore their functional capacity for social interaction.

The approach to care is focused on problem-solving and promoting positive social change.

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Responsibilities

 

Professional social workers respond to and prevent crisis situations. They counsel individuals, families, and communities on ways to cope with the stresses of everyday living.

Social workers are frequently found working with people in low socio-economic demographics, including those in severe poverty, the unemployed, or those facing discrimination or inadequate housing.

They also help those with serious illnesses, disabilities or issues with substance abuse. Social Workers also deal with domestic abuse situations and be called in on incidents involving spousal abuse or child abuse and neglect. The social worker must work with families suffering serious domestic conflicts.

The various types of Social Workers are generally divided into the following groups:

  • Social workers who specialize in child, family and school care

  • Medical and Public Health Social Workers

  • Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW)

Social Workers will usually specialize in one or more of over 40 varied areas of practice. Some of the popular specialization areas are:

  • Disaster relief

  • Child welfare services

  • Homeless family assistance

  • Gerontology services

Their responsibilities will often overlap with other professionals in the mental health field. LCSWs are specially trained in managing mental illness but the scope of their practice is narrower than for other mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists or psychiatric nurses.

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Skills

 

An effective social worker must employ many cognitive, professional, and emotional skills since they work with many destitute, underprivileged, and poverty-stricken people.

They have to continuously be able to read situations, solve issues, and meet people on an emotional, yet professional level.

A social worker must: 

  • Have a deep understanding of human development and behavior

  • Practice empathy

  • Active listening

  • Show reason and tolerance

  • Have good analytic and communication skills

  • Pay close attention to detail

They must have an appreciation of the gravity that various social, economic and cultural factors can have on a patient’s life, and an understanding of how these factors interact.

A social worker must also have a ton of inner strength. It takes a lot out of a person to see horrible situations day-in and day-out and be able to keep returning to it--and taking it upon yourself to help solve the issues.

One must be able to separate personal life from professional life and not get caught in the depression and hardships your clients face. A good social worker has to separate themselves from the situation so they can better analyze and attack the problems.  

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Working Conditions

 

A Social worker employed on a full-time basis usually works a standard 40-hour week. Some are required to work evenings and weekends to meet with clients when it is convenient.

They may be required to attend community meetings or handle emergencies as they arise. Other social workers work on a part-time basis, especially if they work with a nonprofit agency.

Social workers will usually spend time in a residential facility or in an office setting but may also travel in their local area to visit clients at their homes, meet with various service providers, or to attend meetings and workshops.

Many hospitals and long-term care facilities employ Social Workers as part of their healthcare teams. This places the social worker in a collaborative role with other professionals, such as clinical specialists, registered nurses and health aides.

The work can be satisfying but it can also be emotionally taxing. Many places under staff, which results in large caseloads and adds to the pressure that social workers already experience. 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
02.23.2018
PRN The position of the medical social worker incorporates clinical social work within the case management system. The social worker has three main purposes. First, to be the patient advocate that is acting as liaison between patient and...
02.23.2018
This position is responsible for providing a wide range of social services in the Emergency Department in accordance with the hospital mission and objectives. Services provided by Social Service include assisting patients and their families in...
02.23.2018
This Social Worker (MSW) position provides social work case management, mental health and substance abuse services for Veterans within the Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program, or Domiciliary, located at the VA Central Iowa...
02.22.2018
Provides psychosocial assessments, plans and implements various counseling, conducts and coordinates discharge planning for complex cases and participates in multidisciplinary team process. Victims of domestic violence, child and adult neglect...
02.23.2018
If you are a current, permanent employee of VA Central Iowa Health Care System, Department of Veteran Affairs or other federal agency please apply under announcement http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/491345700 This Social Worker (MSW)...
03.07.2017
The Social Worker conducts patient assessments, contributes to patient treatment and discharge planning, and provides individual, group, and family counseling as needed. Minimum Qualifications: Masters Degree (MSW) from an accredited School of...
02.07.2018
The Social Worker (MSW) reports to the Manager of Case Management. Under indirect supervision, the Social Worker (MSW) assists with coordination of the discharge process to ensure a successful transition in collaboration with the health care team...
11.26.2017
The Social Worker (MSW) reports to the Manager of Case Management. Under indirect supervision, the Social Worker (MSW) assists with coordination of the discharge process to ensure a successful transition in collaboration with the health care team...
01.26.2018
The Medical Social Worker is responsible for providing comprehensive social work services which assist patients, clients and their families to find practical ways of overcoming social, emotional and environmental barriers to optimum functioning...
02.02.2018
Under the supervision of a social worker who meets state required standards, provides psychotherapy, counseling, and other services in collaboration with multidisciplinary teams. The social worker may also coordinate patient discharge planning,...
02.23.2018
VCU Health System's General Internal Medicine is seeking a full time Clinical Social Worker. The purpose of the Clinical Social Worker (MSW) position is to provide both direct patient care to patients and families and assist in the coordination...
02.23.2018
Master's Degree Centra is seeking a Clinical Social Worker Farmville, VA The Clinical Social Worker provides on site and/or home care services to participants/patients and their families maximizing utilization of personal family community...
02.23.2018
Master's Degree Centra is seeking a Clinical Social Worker The Clinical Social Worker provides on site and/or home care services to participants/patients and their families maximizing utilization of personal family community and health care...
11.30.2017
Responsible for the oversight of all clinical treatment programs of patients receiving treatment on the inpatient geriatric psychiatric unit. The Social Worker assures that high quality clinical care is provided and that clinical functions are...
12.11.2017
The Transplant Social Worker provides a range of social work services to patients/clients and families in inpatient, ambulatory and community settings utilizing individual, family or group modalities and practicing within the guidelines of...
  1. SOCIAL WORKER Tulsa, OK Hillcrest Medical Center
    PRN The position of the medical social worker incorporates clinical social work within the case management system. The social worker has three main purposes. First, to be the patient advocate that is acting as liaison between patient and...
  2. Social Worker Cookeville, TN Cookeville Regional Medical Center
    This position is responsible for providing a wide range of social services in the Emergency Department in accordance with the hospital mission and objectives. Services provided by Social Service include assisting patients and their families in...
  3. Social Worker Des Moines, IA VA Central Iowa Health Care System
    This Social Worker (MSW) position provides social work case management, mental health and substance abuse services for Veterans within the Mental Health Residential Rehabilitation Treatment Program, or Domiciliary, located at the VA Central Iowa...
  4. Social Worker - Case Management Gastonia, NC CaroMont Health
    Provides psychosocial assessments, plans and implements various counseling, conducts and coordinates discharge planning for complex cases and participates in multidisciplinary team process. Victims of domestic violence, child and adult neglect...
  5. Social Worker Des Moines, IA VA Central Iowa Health Care System
    If you are a current, permanent employee of VA Central Iowa Health Care System, Department of Veteran Affairs or other federal agency please apply under announcement http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/491345700 This Social Worker (MSW)...
  6. Social Worker - MSW Hendersonville, NC Pardee Hospital
    The Social Worker conducts patient assessments, contributes to patient treatment and discharge planning, and provides individual, group, and family counseling as needed. Minimum Qualifications: Masters Degree (MSW) from an accredited School of...
  7. MASTER'S SOCIAL WORKER Charleston, SC Medical University of South Carolina
    The Social Worker (MSW) reports to the Manager of Case Management. Under indirect supervision, the Social Worker (MSW) assists with coordination of the discharge process to ensure a successful transition in collaboration with the health care team...
  8. MASTER'S SOCIAL WORKER Charleston, SC Medical University of South Carolina
    The Social Worker (MSW) reports to the Manager of Case Management. Under indirect supervision, the Social Worker (MSW) assists with coordination of the discharge process to ensure a successful transition in collaboration with the health care team...
  9. Medical Social Worker Indianapolis, IN Eskenazi Health
    The Medical Social Worker is responsible for providing comprehensive social work services which assist patients, clients and their families to find practical ways of overcoming social, emotional and environmental barriers to optimum functioning...
  10. Social Worker MSW Rochester, MN Mayo Clinic Campus in Minnesota
    Under the supervision of a social worker who meets state required standards, provides psychotherapy, counseling, and other services in collaboration with multidisciplinary teams. The social worker may also coordinate patient discharge planning,...
  11. Clin Social Worker Richmond, VA VCU Health System
    VCU Health System's General Internal Medicine is seeking a full time Clinical Social Worker. The purpose of the Clinical Social Worker (MSW) position is to provide both direct patient care to patients and families and assist in the coordination...
  12. SOCIAL WORKER CLINICAL Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    Master's Degree Centra is seeking a Clinical Social Worker Farmville, VA The Clinical Social Worker provides on site and/or home care services to participants/patients and their families maximizing utilization of personal family community...
  13. SOCIAL WORKER CLINICAL Lynchburg, VA Centra Health
    Master's Degree Centra is seeking a Clinical Social Worker The Clinical Social Worker provides on site and/or home care services to participants/patients and their families maximizing utilization of personal family community and health care...
  14. Licensed Social Worker Thomaston, GA Upson Regional Medical Center
    Responsible for the oversight of all clinical treatment programs of patients receiving treatment on the inpatient geriatric psychiatric unit. The Social Worker assures that high quality clinical care is provided and that clinical functions are...
  15. Transplant Social Worker Boston, MA Tufts Medical Center
    The Transplant Social Worker provides a range of social work services to patients/clients and families in inpatient, ambulatory and community settings utilizing individual, family or group modalities and practicing within the guidelines of...