How to Become a Social Worker
A social worker is someone who has the compassion and genuine passion to care for people. People who choose to be a social worker do not do so because of the money but it is more about making an impact and touching people’s lives. Anyone can become a social worker but there is also training needed to be one. The path to becoming a social worker is long but if you really want this is a profession, you will be committed and dedicated.
What Is Social Work?
Social work is about caring for vulnerable types of people. Social workers are community-based professionals that deal with different struggling groups like children, elderly, people who suffer from mental illness, substance abuse sufferers and those families in foster care. Social workers are not just about helping people get better mentally and physically, but they work in strengthening the spirits of individuals as well. Social workers can face disheartening situations that make the job more rewarding and fulfilling in the end. When you see the smile on the faces of needy individuals and you know that you have changed lives, your job is a success.
How To Become A Social Worker?
There are several factors to consider if you wish to become a social worker. Here are some of the things to ponder:
- Why be a social worker?
Before making any moves to become a social worker, you must ask yourself why you want to be one. There are people who want to be social workers because they have suffered from a similar problem in life and want to help others recover. Other social workers simply have a concern for the unfortunate and needy and want to extend their hand. If you want to be a social worker because you really care then you will be a successful one.
- What Personal Qualities Should I Have?
A social worker must be able to handle different situations and challenges every day. Since social workers will be working with different people, you should be good at communicating with different personalities. These challenges are tough but with a strong desire to help others, you will be able to muster the strength and continue motivating yourself. The main goal of a social worker is to help and continue giving help.
You should be objective in dealing with different problems too. You will encounter people with different principles and values. Even if you disagree with them, this should not affect your desire to care for them. You must counsel them and be non-judgmental.
Empathy is a quality that you need to possess. Not only will you hear about people’s problems but also you have to listen and always understand what they are going through. Bear in mind that these people are at the borderline of depression and misery, what they are looking for is people that will care for them and make them feel wanted in the world. If you are empathetic, you will be able to listen to their needs and communicate properly.
You should also respect differences among people. Whatever religion, gender, sex or race, you must treat them all equally. A social worker can only be successful if the genuine desire to care for people will surpass any challenge that a social worker will face.
- Should I Be Educated?
We have talked about the personal qualities a social worker must have but these are not enough to become a qualified social worker. Organizations that hire social workers have certain standards in education before accepting applicants. Social workers should undergo proper training. There are different types of educational degrees for social workers to pursue.
Your career path should start by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work (if you prefer, you can pursue easy bachelors degrees or fast online degrees). This is where you will learn about the history, fundamentals and policies of social workers. For some, a bachelor’s degree is the end of their educational pursuit. But for those who want to excel in this field, completing a master’s degree will provide a more intense study and training. Employers and organizations value higher-level degrees because this shows that the social work has undergone more training and have more experience. Before you decide, be sure to research online bachelor degree costs. How long to become a social worker? A bachelor’s degree will take 4 years and another 2 years for your master’s degree.
After completing your degree, the next step is to obtain your license. A license is required to start practicing your profession. To qualify for a license, you must complete the number of hours working as a social worker and you must pass the licensing exam. Re-certification is done yearly.
What Other Opportunities Are There For Me?
Social workers can choose to specialize in different groups like children social work or family social work. This field of direct-care giving is one of the fastest growing fields in the healthcare industry. Social workers are hired in organizations like schools, charities, local authorities, government agencies and independent organization. Social workers can also work in medical hospitals, psychiatric hospitals and nursing homes. Rehabilitation facilities will also need social workers to help patients with substance abuse problems as this also affect the family. Social workers are also needed in adoption agencies to make sure that children will be given a safe and caring family to live with.
Social work is intense and can really affect you mentally and emotionally. You should make sure that you are prepared to take on this job. Nevertheless, the intensity and daily demands of social work is highly rewarding and fulfilling once you help chance someone’s life for the better.
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