What Is Social Work And How Does It Differ From Charity? Read the Full Page: Social Work – Social Worker Requirements – What Is Expected From A Social Worker


Social work is an extremely important discipline with ties to sociology and psychology. Social workers engage in discourse and activities that intend to improve society at large and individual members of society in particular. Many sociologists have a specific focus which might include:

  • Work with social injustices, racism, and ethnocentrism
  • Improving the life conditions and employability of the poor
  • Work with the mentally disabled
  • Work with people who have emotional and mental disorders

Because of the helpful nature and broad societal focus of social work, the term is often used interchangeably with charity work. The main difference is that social workers are often employed by organizations, so they’re paid for their contributions, and they approach their work in an academic and professionally-focused way. Social workers often have a fairly broad set of skills, and tend to take social work as a career more than a charitable action.

If you’re interested in social work or finding a social work organization, here’s some more information about the nature of this pursuit and its function in society.

The Requirements To Be A Social Worker

Another one of the main points of differentiation between social work and charity is that social work requires a degree. This is because social work techniques are empirically tested and academically valid, as opposed to charity organizations which may each have their own individual practices. That’s not to say that there isn’t room for creativity or differentiation in social work, but an empirical mindset is important for the practice.

Many colleges offer accredited social work degrees through the Council on Social Work Education accreditation program. Students who wish to pursue a career in social work will often be required to receive a bachelor’s degree in social work, which demonstrates that they have the necessary skills and educational background to accept entry level positions with social work organizations and government social work programs.

Depending on the particular area of practice that social workers pursue, additional degrees, certifications, or licenses may be necessary. A license is always necessary for clinical social workers, and depending on the state, certifications and licenses may require special testing on a regular basis.

In most states, a person cannot claim to be a social worker legally without passing state programs designed to verify social work or unless certification or licensure requirements have been completed.

What Is Expected In A Social Worker?

Social workers help individuals through a variety of means, including job and college acceptance assistance, government aid assistance, and even mental health counseling. By providing psychosocial services to communities, social workers hope to improve individual lives and the community as a whole. One important element of the social work discipline is this broad perspective, combined with a scientific or clinical empirically based approach that emphasizes positive results of various techniques.

Social workers are employed by a number of organizations and governments. The healthcare industry is one major source of jobs for social workers, as healthcare companies often use social workers to help patients deal with diseases from several different perspectives.

As social workers provide a tremendous service for individuals and their entire communities, it’s a very popular career path that has been growing in popularity in recent years. If you’re interested in becoming a social worker, it’s important to research the specific requirements of social work in your state. It’s also important to get a degree in social work or a very closely related field.

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Posted on February 22, 2012, in Categorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Nicely put for anyone who doesn’t know anything about this field or is interested in getting involved with it. I couldn’t be any happier with my career than I am now. I graduated with a psychology degree about 15 years ago and then went on to my MBA. I really enjoy working with communities and people who are in need of my assistance. I have been working for about five years with substance abuse and it is very rewarding to me to see people turn their lives around and guide them to the right path. Even though I have had my education and experience I just wanted to share these ceus for counselors programs that I take every so often. There are always new treatments, theories, and practices that can be learned for even the most experienced social worker, which is why I take them.

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