Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work

What is Social Work?

picture of social work wheel with information about what areas social workers can be found in


Social work is the profession that promotes or restores the relationships between people and their environment in order to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, communities, or organizations. Social work traces its historical roots to the end of the 1800s and social work activities then and now work toward the improvement of social conditions and the alleviation of social problems. Working with individuals, families, small groups, communities, or organizations social workers are viewed as caring individuals who strive to enhance personal competencies, facilitate linkages between people and their access to necessary social supports, advocate on behalf of society’s disenfranchised minorities, and create social service organizations that are responsive to human needs.


  • To enhance the social functioning of individuals, families, small groups, communities and organizations
  • To link client systems with needed social supports and societal resources
  • To improve the operation of the existing social service delivery system
  • To promote social and economic justice
  • To promote the dignity and worth of the individual
  • To enhance the relationship between people and their environments
  • To alleviate poverty, oppression, sexism, homophobia, racism, ageism, and all other forms of social injustice and discrimination
  • To develop and implement social policies, resources, and services that meet the needs of all members of society
  • To advocate on behalf of those who can not advocate for themselves through the promotion of political actions that support social and economic justice

Information on Social Work Careers and Salaries

The Association of Social Work Boards can provide information on state social work licensure boards.  It has hyperlinks to the social work boards located throughout the U.S.

This link provides general information on careers in social work. .

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the U.S. Department of Labor offers a 5 to 10 year projection on the need for social work and social work related jobs.