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Your M.S.W. Degree in Action: Social Workers in Community

By Peterson's Staff updated on Thursday, November 07, 2013

Today, more Americans understand the importance of building up communities to meet the needs of changing demographics and a dynamic population. The role of social workers is to perform a variety of supportive functions to assist those who may not have the resources to do so themselves.

Further, while most social programs and legislative efforts do strive to alleviate the economic and political effects of poverty, family issues, racism, gender discrimination, and medical problems, gaps naturally occur in implementation and should be filled by compassionate professionals who know how to deal with local issues.

Types of Social Work

Social work is not restricted to one or two aspects of society; instead, the aim of the field is to cover many areas of need and create real change. You may find that you favor one aspect of social work over another. In that case, it would be best for you to read up about what those practitioners do in a typical day and then find an internship in that area before you commit to one.

If you aren't sure what field to start researching, here is a list of some areas that social workers work in:

  • Family and School
  • Medical Social Work
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse

A Satisfying Career

Receiving immediate satisfaction for providing support to those who need it is an intrinsic incentive for social workers, but the real and lasting long term results of positive social change are the outcomes that workers strive for.

Most social workers feel a real bond with their clients; even if the client moves on, their interaction keeps them connected to one another. Seeing an abused child smile, succeed in school, and go on to thrive in their personal and professional life is the kind of story every social worker hopes for. Likewise, the feeling that someone cares gives that same child the knowledge that they matter.

Social Work Programs
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