What does a Social Worker do?
Social Workers typically work for various institutions, including schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, non-profit organizations and government agencies, to support clients in a specialized area. They work closely with healthcare professionals, Law Enforcement Officers, School Counselors and Probation Officers to relay information about their clients and their progress. Their job is to encourage their clients to maintain a healthy lifestyle, talk about their feelings and pursue their hobbies while also learning to live with their illnesses and past traumas.
They may also be responsible for traveling by car to a client’s home to conduct inspections and ensure they have a positive environment in which to live.
Social Worker skills and qualifications
A successful Social Worker will have strong communication skills, both to provide understandable support and plans to patients and their families and to listen carefully to understand their issues. They must be patient when talking to patients and their families and know how to calm them down and solve their problems. It is important to have empathy so they can show the patient they understand their issue and are working to help them. Here are several other skills and qualifications a Social Worker should have:
- Bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work
- 5+ years of clinical social work experience
- Knowledge of specific software programs used within your organization
- Valid and current LCSW or LMSW license
- Excellent listening and communication skills
- Ability to make psychosocial assessments and develop and implement care plans
- Ability to provide after-hours service as needed
- Bilingual preferred
Social Worker salary expectations
A Social Worker makes an average of $59,417 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.
Social Worker education and training requirements
Social Workers need a minimum bachelor’s degree in social work. Clinical Social Workers, however, must have a master’s degree, two years of experience in a clinical setting and a state license in the state in which they practice. After their formal education, Social Workers may complete paid or unpaid internships in order to get hands-on training before finding employment.
Social Worker experience requirements
Social Worker positions may be entry-level unless it is a Clinical Social Worker position, in which case a minimum of two years of experience in a supervised setting is required. A Social Worker should have experience working with a variety of people in sometimes difficult situations. Social Workers may also excel when they have previously volunteered for community events and worked well as part of a team.
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