Social Work

Improving other people’s lives is the primary role of the social worker. As an important part of the Criminal Justice degree job network, the social worker can assist families with domestic and financial conflicts and hardships. They help others with disabilities, diseases, unemployment, substandard housing, and substance abuse by helping people cope with everyday life and social relationships. It is a demanding but rewarding career, knowing that you made someone’s life better by providing comfort, education, and caring. It is a career that requires a continual social interaction component in dealing with the general public. The ability to diffuse social tensions, and understand social behavior is an important aspect in this line of work. Social workers often specialize their assistance within the community that they service, in areas of family welfare, medical and mental health treatment, senior elderly care, and policy program planning.

Social workers that are focused on family welfare assist communities in all aspects that deal with family life. This may include a child’s education at school by intervening with the teacher and parent, dealing with the consequences of an abused spouse or child, or assisting a family on how to cope with the daily routine of living where just making ends meet becomes the primary goal. These social workers will provide a family with such services as advice and counseling, financial planning, food distribution, and housing.

Specialized social workers perform a role in the public health arena by providing assistance for people coping with disease, or terminal illnesses. More often they interact with the public by working at clinics or hospitals where medical treatment can be regulated and dispensed along with advice, counsel and education to the participants. Mental health and substance abuse aid is commonly administered at such settings where patient outreach programs, crisis intervention, and rehabilitation are the primary offering of the social worker. As the population continues to age and as the baby boomers enter into retirement, elderly care is seen as the next up and coming issue that will face the career of the social worker in full force. The ability to give friendly care, in addition to monitoring and attending to the health needs of the senior citizen population, is a unique specialization that will require devoted and dedicated social workers.

Policy planning social workers in areas of administration, education, research, and government are involved with a career that determines creative ways of improving social services to the public. This may include written legislation, or better ways to provide a service, along with identifying the necessary funding source mechanisms for these new programs.

Social workers are a component to the criminal justice network that includes such unique job titles as:

  • Youth Counselor
  • Clinical Supervisor
  • Bilingual Family Counselor
  • Child Care Counselor
  • Visitation Program Specialist
  • Public School Social Worker
  • Physical Science Technician
  • Behavior Specialist
  • Community Support Worker
  • Residential Administrator
  • Outpatient Therapist
  • Housing Specialist
  • Psychiatric Social Worker
  • … and many more

A Guide to Mental Illness and the Criminal Justice System

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