What is Social Work?
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 connections 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.
The Purpose of Social Work
- Enhance the social functioning of individuals, families, small groups, communities and organizations.
- Link client systems with needed social supports and societal resources.
- Improve the operation of the existing social service delivery system.
- Promote social and economic justice.
- Promote the dignity and worth of the individual.
- Enhance the relationship between people and their environments.
- Alleviate poverty, oppression, sexism, homophobia, racism, ageism, and all other forms of social injustice and discrimination.
- Develop and implement social policies, resources, and services that meet the needs of all members of society.
- Advocate on behalf of those who cannot advocate for themselves through the promotion of political actions that support social and economic justice.
Social Work Careers
Social Workers are found in so many different areas, a degree in social work can take you just about anywhere. Whether it's healthcare, private practice, schools and universities, law, government or beyond. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, employment of social workers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increased demand for healthcare and social services, but will vary by specialty. Social workers can be found working in organizations such as:
- Public School Systems
- Hospitals and Nursing Homes
- Government Agencies
- Charitable Organizations
- Police Departments