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How to Become a Social Worker: 10 Important Entry Steps


Social Worker Definition:

Social work itself means to help out others who may relate to specific issues whether a calamity or educating children or solving out issues. To make it more elaborate social work is a discipline specifically to help out individuals or groups of people who need our assistance to live or we can say to improve the quality of life. The people who are part of this initiative are known as social workers. This work is often related with psychology of the person and sometimes could be challenging but not without rewards! The vulnerable people especially the elderly and the children or women are many a time being subjected to harm. There comes the need of social work. Then you would be thinking of how to make an initiation.

how become social workerEntry Requirements for Social Worker Jobs:

The following mentioned are few tips on becoming a social worker, what does a social worker do and the social worker requirements.

1. Volunteering:

The foremost habit that you would need to go about is participating in social work as assistant to social worker. That too if you practice from high school, the better is your exposure. You get to learn a lot of details on how to manage the situation. Only by getting into the field you would be aware of all the small details that cannot be written and explained unless experienced. This is the basics or foundation for your social work.

2. Select your speciality:

As the social work courses are many, there are different types of social workers also. Some social workers like to interact with all types of people while some prefer specific demographic. Like for instance geriatric social workers take care of the elderly. Some social workers like to work in schools where they tend to work closely with teachers and children to bring about the right programs for them. While still others who prefer to work in health care centres takes utmost care of the patients’ rights.

3. Right qualification:

educational qualification

There are many who do a degree or basically a high school and jump to the field. But to be appropriate, entry to this field really requires a bachelor of social work i.e a social work degree or B.S.W. See that you get a good score in school as well as in college exams. Hence, if you’re sure you want to take up social work career, then select good colleges for social work that offer this degree for social worker while at high school level itself. Gather ample information about colleges and apply during the end of high school exams.

4. Common majors:

To get to work in this field there are some common majors that you could think about before making your choice,

  • Psychology mainly focuses on human behaviour and skill in motivating people. This specific major will help one to be appropriate for clinical social work. The client would be provided with apt solutions on how to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals without fear.
  • Child development majors are very specialized and can be taken up by persons who intends to work closely with children and their families. This course brings insight to the behavioural pattern of child and their mental development. These students who specialize in this major become social service workers who know how to manage and strategize their programs suited to the age groups, those who have undergone trauma, those with problematic behaviour.
  • Teaching is a much specialized course that when taken up is sure to make one get to work at schools where children or adolescents often have lots of queries. And with fast changing trends, more and more children are exposed to stress that they are unable to cope with. Also the learner gets to know more about group management, help cope children with disabilities, manage difficult child behaviour.
  • Social work course offers a learning phase where the learner gets opportunity to gain many sets of skills and knowledge. It is also very advantageous that the learner learns the professional social work ethics and advocacy skills.
    Sociology focuses on society as a whole and relationships. Here many research projects are used to examine the behaviours of cultures, institutions, and other sets of populations. The findings are usually associated with how’s and why’s of the interacting communities. But the outcome is usually considered for future prospects in this field of social work.

5. Aim for internships:

Once you have entered college, you would make yourself familiar with the course and the syllabus. During your tenure in the college, aim for internships at various places that do social work. Social work internships are opportunities for one to gather a lot experience and also gain contacts for future. Sometimes there is benefit of stipend. But don’t worry whether you will be paid or not. It’s better to opt to do internships.

6. Next step is post-graduation:

Don’t stop yourself with B.S.W. Aim for post-graduate in social work course that is M.S.W. It’s better if you prefer to hold a responsible position in society.

7. Under licensed social work:

Getting into real field work requires one to work under a licensed social worker as a social work assistant for almost two years. After this only will you have opportunity to write the Social work license exam for the place where you intend to work. This is considered as additional certification.

8. Proficiency in languages:

proficiency in languages

For having to do social work profession you need to be proficient in languages. Of course the main communication language considered worldwide is English. Besides that you could learn any other language that is being profusely used in that area. Being proficient in at least two languages helps a person to add to their academic records. Also it comes in handy when confronted in field work.

9. Associate with groups:

Like how you make yourself connected with like minded people in Facebook or twitter, same is the case with this social work. Get yourself associated with social workers groups so that you get to know how others are trending and helps to gain more experience or gather crucial information that may be required for your work.

10. Essential traits to possess:

  • The foremost social work skill that a social worker needs to have is empathy. Most of the time they are associated in working with clients who are under some sort of stress. They should be able to engage the client with meaningful dialogue.
  • The next important trait is the management skills. As they are liable to handle many clients they need to maintain confidentiality and also maintain records.
  • They need to have good organizational skills needed to be a social worker and understand the policies involved in co-ordinating their services as they will be associated with many clients.
  • They need to know how to think outside the box or in other words must know how to go about the issue when confronted with, rather than being provided with all answers.
  • The other essential attribute is time management skills where the social worker might need to handle lengthy regulations and paper works. Even sometimes they might have their appointments with clients getting cancelled. In such cases they need to manage their work.
  • They would need to know the right or legal procedure to handle clients funds. It could be dealing with governmental or non-profit organisations. In most of the cases the paperwork must be handled correctly and submitted for approval or any other legal needs that clients are unaware.
  • They need to be aware of any technological tools that could be of handy while they schedule meetings, organise their notes, and review patient’s information. Most of the time the social worker would be given access to such tools with whom they work for.

Social workers are required to aid people in coping with issues that they have to face every day. Although they are involved in solving personal and family problems, dealing with relationships, their core intention is to fight indiscrimination, and bring to light the social injustice. In pursuit of social justice, they deal with communities at large mainly who are marginalized in context with racism, ageism, mentalism, sexism, classism, etc. It’s a field which is broad and one can specialize into health care social worker, child care social worker, school social worker, substance abuse social worker, mental health social worker, rehabilitation counsellors, psychologists, etc. If you intend to do social work programs and not know which will be apt then talk to social workers in various categories and gather how they work and manage their time.

So if you have a flair for helping out others then surely this is the field you can choose to take up. Above mentioned are few tip son how to be a social worker.Social worker aids people by helping them to cope with their issues that they encounter in their daily life, or solving their personal problems. Besides that they also fight for getting justice to any harm done to an individual that could impact the mass.