The Social Work Profession

What is social work? 

Social work is a broad profession that seeks to help people interact more effectively with one another and with the environment. As our society has become increasingly complex, people in both urban and rural settings are experiencing a corresponding increase in problems related to meeting basic human needs such as employment, adequate income level, healthcare, family relationships and mental health. Social work seeks to identify and correct both the individual and social causes of problems and toward this end has developed a person-in-environment perspective.

What do social workers do? 

A wide range of tasks is associated with the profession. Some examples are:

  • Helping parents to cope with an acting-out child
  • Serving as childcare workers
  • Counseling people in crisis
  • Serving as aftercare, case or child welfare workers
  • Supporting psychiatric and medical services¬†
  • Providing services for people with developmental disabilities
  • Working with the elderly
  • Advocating for people in need

Where do social workers work?

Social workers are involved in a wide range of settings. They include:

  • Counseling agencies
  • Mental health clinics
  • Corrections facilities
  • Neighborhood community centers
  • Schools
  • Family and child welfare agencies
  • Legislative offices
  • Industry