Social work and community service is a growing need for society today. Minorities belonging to different backgrounds and groups need to secure some form of representation and support. But, the pre-existing systems and practices have little to offer to these factions. It is why the privileged sector needs to take a stern initiative and strive to get them their legitimate position.
Not just them, but other biases like the glass ceiling for women or livings rights of refugees are a significant concern. These concepts and mindsets are deep-rooted and become a part of the culture. For that reason, it is necessary to act as an organized body against it. And this unclaimed role has been taken over by the community centers and similar groups across the world.
Open discussions on these subjects have informed people of the magnitude of this problem. This development has made them aware and given root to doing more work in this area. They are now willing to join these campaigns and plan a future that has room for these activities.
Some individuals are also exploring the options of a career exclusively in the field of social work. The changing times have presented various rewarding job opportunities that are worth pursuing considering the growth probability. Taking up these roles could mean substantial social influence and bright prospects revolving around a comfortable future. That, and the associated nobility of this profession, helps understand the reason for its popularity.
If you find your motivations shifting towards or envision yourself working for this cause, here are five unique steps to becoming a professional social worker. These should help you grasp the challenges that might come along with this role.
Social work might appear unstructured, but it has similar requirements as any regular profession. The chief among them is a qualification that assures success in this field. But, the good thing about it is that you can become a social worker without a bachelor’s in social work.
A BSW equips and tailors you to fulfill the responsibilities of a social worker. It helps you understand human behavior and teaches you to empathize with others. That allows activists to communicate effectively to address their concerns and solve the problem. Besides, you can also get advanced standing for master’s enrollment, but that’s about it.
However, if you have given your career some thought, you can tap into it using alternate routes. Several associated professions permit you to find your way to activities having a notable social influence. You can get an MSW and become a figure of authority on this subject from there on out.
- FIELDWORK HOURS
A job in this area requires you to invest not only your brains but your energy as well. So, another feature listed amongst the requirements of becoming a professional social worker is fieldwork hours.
Individuals need to register themselves for services and complete a designated number of hours at a placement site. The number of hours varies depending on advanced standing and seniority. First-years need to work for 16-20 hours for two days a week, while second-years keep up the same practices for three days. You get the option to choose the population to work with, but you can’t complete your degree without them.
Besides, it is an integral part of the program as it fosters several key personality traits of being a social worker. By going through them, you are only preparing yourself for future challenges and refining your practices. That is why institutes also encourage them for the sake of exposure and experience.
- GETTING A LICENSE OF SOCIAL WORK
Getting through these stages, next in line is the process of getting a license. You can never get the recognition you deserve without proper documentation, which is why it’s compulsory. So while some jobs that keep you distinctly related to this field won’t need it, those enabling you to help from the ground level demands it.
Most social workers who physically provide care and support to people need a license to authorize their practice. It usually includes individuals signing up for clinical social work. These activists offer all kinds of assistance, from physical treatment to emotional support, provided an entitlement. Besides that, they can also take the initiative of starting an individual practice. Setting up a clinic to tend to a minority or victims’ needs is a popular action course.
Social workers that are not aiming for clinical work can get a master’s social work license instead. It allows them to go for macro practice and explore other areas that might promote a social change.
- CAREER CHOICES
Once you are through these steps, you can consider your career choices in this field. The most commonly adapted area of work is clinical practice. Individuals with an inclination towards medicine and healthcare can take up jobs of this nature. They can look after the treatment or psychological support that these people need. That will help them recover from the losses and regain their position in society.
Next is education, which allows activists to interact with a broader group than just students. Social workers working on educating others come in contact with families and staff while addressing concerns. They target the root of the problem and come up with ways to overcome it. That improves the overall student outcomes from every institute.
Macro social work is a branch that might not be so popular but has a significant impact on the nature of work. People in this area work with data and research and use them to reconfigure the system. They strategize their approach and pluck out the flaws in existing practices. That makes more room for rapid development and gives hope to the people. It is why macro social work is an equally important section.
- CONSISTENT LEARNING
Social problems keep evolving, making it crucial for activists to adapt to them through continued learning. They need to utilize their experience and fieldwork for the upcoming challenges of their profession. Aligning themselves with the situations and growing as a social worker are elements that ensure a sustainable future. That is why they need to participate actively in educational workshops, professional conferences, and individual activities.
These were the five unique and necessary steps that you need to take to become a professional social worker. These will help you find your place as part of this community and promise rewarding outcomes against your efforts. Remember to follow them like a rule of thumb, and you will navigate this profession without facing any significant hindrances.
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