Choosing a career in social work means building a professional life that is varied and rewarding at the same time. Social workers are highly sought after by healthcare organizations, schools, and the courts and justice system. Others work as researchers or support community groups. Some social workers also enter politics to influence policy-making in their field. Here is a detailed look at some of the most sought-after social work roles.
Social Workers in Mental and Behavioral Health Care
Mental and behavioral healthcare organizations are among the most common employers of social workers. Licensed clinical social workers (LCSW) work nationwide in urban and rural settings. In some cases, they may be the only qualified mental health care providers in a location.
Within this area, social workers may specialize in working with families or individuals. Some choose to work with seniors, whereas others might develop their knowledge and expertise working with children and adolescents. They support individuals with mental and behavioral health challenges, including significant life changes and problems like bullying or low self-esteem. Left untreated, situations like these can turn into severe mental health conditions.
Social workers help their clients prevent the deterioration of behavioral health challenges into full-blown conditions and help restore their quality of life.
Social Workers in Corporate Environments
While mental and behavioral health care may be one of the “classic” areas of work for social workers, these professionals are also sought-after by corporations.
Employers have recognized that supporting teams with the help of social workers increase productivity, efficiency, and creativity. Providing job counseling and other forms of support can also lift morale.
Plus, providing easy access to counseling support can help break down the stigma surrounding behavioral and mental health challenges in corporate environments. Access to support makes it clear to all that asking for help is normal and can avoid more significant problems that may lead to long-term absences.
Apart from this practical level of involvement, social workers in occupational settings may contribute to organizing labor or work with unions to improve working conditions.
Social Workers in Policy, Planning, and Politics
Not every social worker sees clients daily for counseling and practical support. A large group of highly-qualified and experienced LCSWs has transitioned into policy and planning work and politics.
Working closely with politicians and specialists from other fields, social workers identify the most pressing issues, research solutions, and propose legislation. In those roles, social workers may be hired as permanent team members, while others become independent external advisers to policymakers.
Transitioning from social work into politics often involves time spent as a community activist. Social workers have also run for community-based elective offices like positions on school boards or city and county governments.
Social Workers in Administration and Management Roles
Transitioning from a hands-on social work role to a more administrative position is another common career path for LCSWs.
Many social work roles require organizational and management skills that transfer well into administrative functions. However, some social workers choose to add business administration qualifications to their skillset to qualify for more senior positions.
Apart from administrative skills, many of these roles also require the ability to plan for the future, understand the development and delivery of social policy and services, and how those relate to human behavior.
Social Workers in Courts and the Justice System
Social workers take on a variety of roles within the justice system. For example, they may support minors who have to appear in court, helping them understand the proceedings and offering counseling.
Within the justice and corrections system, social workers play a critical part in delivering rehabilitation services. They work with correctional facilities inmates and support police departments and rape crisis centers.
Finding Qualified Licensed Social Workers
Social workers are in high demand. Their skills and qualifications are sought after by a wide range of employers. That means recruiting the right LCSW to fill a position can be tricky and time-consuming for HR teams.
One of the most convenient solutions is partnering up with a proven, experienced professional staffing provider like TrueCare. Employers save money and time by leaving the search for and vetting of qualified social workers to a third party. They can also be sure they are hiring the right candidate, thanks to TrueCare’s particular credentials checks.
As a platform, TrueCare has built a nationwide network of social work professionals at all levels. Whether you need junior-level support or highly experienced LCSWs with specialist qualifications, we can support your team at short notice and for as long as you need.
Working with TrueCare also benefits employers and HR teams from flexible contracts. You pay for the services you use without lengthy tie-ins. We are happy to become a long-term extension of your team but can also offer short-term support during peak times.
Staffing on-demand is a great option to deal with changing social work requirements and ensure your organization can deliver outstanding services to its clients.