Workers provide leadership to change lives and change society.
Social Workers are professional helpers who graduate from a four-year
university after completing a rigorous program of study and also
an extensive field experience supervised by a BSW or MSW Field Instructor.
Many people have the wrong idea about what social workers do in
their day to day job. Child Welfare is the most frequently
depicted career opportunity in social work - but most social workers
actually work in other types of jobs. There are endless and
diverse career paths. There is currently high demand for social
workers in health care, geriatric, and substance abuse settings,
but all fields of practice are hiring.
Social workers are interested in understanding and assisting individuals
and environments! Social work focuses on human development, relationships
and interactions with the social environment. It also advocates
on behalf of vulnerable and marginalized populations, championing
social justice and human rights for all people.
Social Workers work with
individuals, families, small groups, organizations and communities!
As an undergraduate student, you will learn the kinowledge and skills
necessary, and explore the values and principles to be successful
in helping at all of these levels.
The profession of social work has its own body of knowledge, code
of ethics, practice standards, credentials, state licensing, and
a nationwide system of accredited education programs. Avila University's
Social Work department is one of these accredited education programs,
and has been continuously accredited since 1974!
The following Social Work Facts come from the
National Association of Social Workers web site at www.naswdc.org
- According to the recent U.S. Census more than 600,000 people hold social work degrees.
- 320,000 professional social workers hold state licenses that safeguard the public from unqualified workers. For more information about state licensing of social work, contact the Association of Social Work Boards at www.aswb.org.
- Demand for social workers is on the rise! According to the U.S.
Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social
work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States.
The profession was expected to grow by 30% by 2010 and by 16%
in the next decade.
- Social workers are highly trained and experienced professionals. Only those who have earned social work degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral levels, and competed a minimum number of hours in supervised fieldwork are “professional social workers”.
- Social Workers help people in all stages of life, from children to elderly, in all situations.
- Accredited BSW programs require a minimum of 400 hours of supervised
field experience. Avila's students complete at least 500 hours
of field experience in their program of study.
- Social Workers counsel people about their situations, then connect them with programs and resources that best match their individual needs and circumstances. Millions of Americans are helped everyday by professional social workers.
- Social workers help people overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges: poverty, discrimination, abuse, addiction, physical illness, divorce, loss, unemployment, educational problems, disability.
- 57% of social workers work in public organizations. 25% of social workers work in private settings; 18% in for-profit settings. (CPS 1999)
- The Veteran’s Administration employs 3800 MSW’s to assist veterans and their families with individual and family counseling, patient education, end of life planning, substance abuse treatment, crisis intervention and other services.
- According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), professional social workers are the nation’s largest group of mental health services providers. There are more clinically trained social workers – over 190,000 in 1998 – than psychiatrist, psychologists, and psychiatric nurses combined. Federal law and the National Institutes of Health recognize social work as one of five core mental health professions.
- In a recent survey of more than 3,000 Consumer Reports readers, therapy delivered by clinical social workers and psychologists was perceived to be as effective as that given by psychiatrists. (Consumer Reports Magazine, October 2004).
- Over 40% of mental health professionals who participate in Red Cross Disaster Services Human Resources systems are social workers.
- There are more than 170 social workers in national, state and local elected office, including 2 U.S. Senators and 4 U.S. Representatives. These include: Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Rep. Ciro D. Rodriguez (D-TX), Rep Barbara Lee (D-CA), Rep. Ed Towns (D-NY), and Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA).
- Graduates starting out with a BSW can expect an annual salary
ranging up to $40,000 depending on the type of work, experience
and geographic factors. A social worker with an MSW degree can
expect an annual income ranging to about $50,000. With experience,
salaries increase and benefits are generally good. A few
experienced private practitioners and senior administrators earn
as much as $100,000 or more.
For additional information about social workers, search the 2002 Occupational Outlook Handbook on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website: www.bis.gov.
Or visit www.socialworkers.org for more information about the profession.