5 Great Applications For A Degree In Social Work

If you are thinking about a career in social work or therapy, there are a lot of different directions you can take. Many are rewarding as you serve people in your community, and many can also lead to more advancements in your career as your dedicate yourself to a specific line of work. No matter what you passion is, you can find a great fit for your personality and your education background. Consider these five applications for social worker career opportunities:

1. Family Improvement

Many people think that only job working with families is doing family therapy as a counselor. While marriage and grief counseling are important, social workers can bring their expertise to help families who need to improve. Through foster care agencies, family support centers, or community resource departments, you might be able to meet with individual families to help them find jobs, learn languages, improve parenting skills, and learn life skills like cooking, budgeting, and communicating well with others. Many of these families have children in foster care who could come home once they have had some extra help learning what it takes to be successful parents. 

2. Drug Addiction Counseling

You don't need a psychology degree to start as a drug addiction counselor. You may need to apply for certification in your state, but these certifications can often be covered by your employer. You can work at full time rehab facilities to help patients learn how to cope without the need for substance abuse. This is a challenging line of work, especially because many people in rehab centers aren't there on their own free will, but instead as a court order. However, as you work with people and the program, you'll see plenty of success stories. There is opportunity for advancement in this field. You could supervise care or even learn enough to manage a department of a care center. 

3. Case Manager

Many foster agencies and government programs need talented case managers who know about the challenges and regulations surrounding social work. If you're less of a people person and more into organization and moving things behind the scenes, this is a good spot for you. You can handle cases, meet with people in a professional setting, and help push vital services through the red tape. Case workers can help with adoptions, foster placements, and prison relocation or work release programs.

4. Charity and Donations

There's always a need for people who want to build up non-profit organizations, help with community charity efforts, or facilitate the donations of individuals. Social workers can be responsible for planning fundraisers, contacting donors, and representing groups of people who need financial assistance. As an example, many hospitals hire social workers to help work with families who are donating the organs of a loved one. These services are essential to the community, but they require the finesse and compassion of someone who is educated in social work.

5. Special Needs Counseling

Finally, with a social work degree, you can counsel families who have children with special needs, or work with special needs children and adults on a daily basis. You might provide in-home care, or you might help families learn coping skills so they can provide better care. In long-term care facilities, you might assist with nursing or help manage the day-to-day running of the home, making sure that donations and payment come in on time, that families have the right information and resources, and that you're still able to collect city and state financial assistance. 

For more information on career counseling and social work jobs, contact a school or social work program in your area.