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Lance Armstrong founded Livestrong after his fight with multiple bouts of cancer. I’m sure you remember those yellow wristbands sporting his message that quickly hit the scene a few years ago. There were many factors that contributed to Lance overcoming his cancer, as well as others around the country who have done the same. One of those was probably a social worker that specialized in health and well-being who supported those individuals during their time of need. A social worker lends a hand to those in need by providing a wide range of services to individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations to improve those people’s quality of life.
A social worker provides a wide range of services to individuals, families, small groups, communities, and organizations to improve those people’s quality of life and well-being. They do this by intervening through research, policy, community organizing, direct practice, and teaching on behalf of those afflicted with poverty or any real or perceived social injustices and violations of their human rights. The main tasks of professional social workers can include a number of services such as case management (linking service users with agencies and programs that will meet their psychosocial needs), counseling & psychotherapy, human services management, social welfare policy analysis, policy and practice development, community organizing, international, social and community development, advocacy, teaching, and social and political research.
The typical day for a social worker is determined by what field they enter, but here are a few tasks you might encounter:
Salary for social workers is based on education, geographic location and experience and typically ranges between $23,000 and $53,000 per year. You might go on to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker ($34,000-$75,000), or a Child, Family or School Social Worker ($23,000-$55,000).
Here are some of the best locations for social workers.
To be a social worker you’ll first need a Bachelor’s degree in social work. Beyond that, you can also get postgraduate degrees in Social Work like a Master’s or PhD. More and more graduates of social work are continuing to post-graduate studies because it has been argued that social work education is supposed to be a lifelong process. In addition, to professionally practice social work you’ll need to obtain a license or be professionally registered. This has become mandatory in most states in an effort to minimize abuse of social workers’ professional positions and to ensure proper counseling is given by qualified practitioners.
If social work still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
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Check out the latest job and internship postings in social work.