Five Ways Social Workers Are Improving Our Communities
People and the families they live in have complex needs. Whether it’s a loss of a job, healthcare needs, or instability of the family, these needs can be devastating if they go unmet. Sometimes the best way to meet these needs and ensure the health of the person or family is with the intervention of a specialist.
Social workers are specially trained to help meet these kinds of needs and more. Their expertise is essential for our communities to run smoothly and to offer a support network to those in need. So, what kinds of social work jobs are there?
School social work
The success of children in school can set them on a positive course for the rest of their lives. But when difficulties arise at home, focusing at school can become extremely difficult. How can kids successfully complete their school work when their families are unstable, or they are struggling with their own mental health? School social workers work with parents, teachers and students to help resolve conflict and meet the needs of students so they can have success at school.
Child welfare work
Social workers in child welfare have a tough job. They come alongside families in crisis and provide support for the children and their parents. Children going through situations like abuse, neglect, and even severe illness of a parent rely on social workers to help them get through these difficult situations.
Gerontology social work
Advancements in the medical field mean that people are living longer, and the population of aging adults is growing. Gerontology social workers are specially trained to work with aging adults. They can connect them to community resources, help families navigate caring and paying for their elderly family members, and offer therapy to elderly adults who are anxious or depressed.
Substance abuse social work
Substance abuse is a rising concern in America. According to one study, an estimated 19.7 million Americans over the age of 12 struggled with drug addiction in 2017. The support of a social worker can be invaluable as addicts try to change their lives for the good of themselves and their families. Substance abuse social workers can provide counseling and other resources for those who are trying to overcome their addiction.
Correctional social work
Correctional social workers have a variety of tasks, depending on their specific job. Some work inside of prisons and jails, helping make sure that incarcerated people are treated fairly and have their needs met. Social workers can also help them make a successful transition back into public life upon their release. On the other hand, some social workers work with those who have already been released, helping them to find jobs, offering support, and working with released prisoners to ensure they meet their parole requirements and don’t end up back in prison.
Social workers are extremely important in our society. They can do anything from supporting kids in school to fighting for justice in prisons. Whether it’s helping someone overcome addiction or organizing medical care in a nursing home, social workers help individuals succeed and communities thrive.