profession of many faces." This describes the diversity of the social work profession. A social worker is one who is committed to working with individuals, groups, and communities, helping them to use the resources within themselves and the environment to cope more effectively with problems. Social Work as a profession is committed to the promotion, restoration, maintenance, and enhancement of social functioning. In contrast to other similar helping professions, social workers focus on bringing about change in small target systems (individual, family, and groups), larger target systems (organizations, communities, and society), or both.
Social Work: A Chosen Profession
The final decision regarding whether you have what it takes to be a social worker and whether social work is something you want to do, can be made by only one person--you. The following questions can assist you in the decision making process.
For additional help in deciding on social work as a profession, talk with professional social workers in the community, social work students, and social work faculty who are available to help in any way.
Fields of Practice
There are currently more employment opportunities available in social work than in many other fields and the future looks encouraging. In 1998, the U.S. News and World Report selected social work as a top career choice. The report stated "Social workers now provide more than half of all therapy services, treating patients battling conditions such as depression, alcoholism, and anorexia." In fact, social work has been selected as a top career choice for the past several years. Social services and their delivery are becoming integral parts of our fast-paced existence and the demand for qualified personnel is expected to expand. If you share social work profession's commitment to changing social conditions and improving quality of life for all, then you should consider social work as a career.
Areas of Practice
Social work has identified more than 240 different areas for social work practice. Some of the settings in which social work is practiced include: