Social Workers Are Not in

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

Many such children face physical, sexual and emotional abuse and thus need to be removed from these homes as soon as any problem surfaces. It is the duty of the social worker to arrange for removal and suitable alternative placement of the child.

Health care social workers

Social workers working in health care facilities provide support to patients and their families in dealing with an emergency or chronic illness. Many families undergo extreme stress and emotional disturbance when a member falls sick or is diagnosed with a life threatening diseases such as AIDS. The patients are given moral and emotional support while their families are taught coping skills in order to minimize stress.

Occupational social workers:

These social workers are found in large corporations and work in collaboration with the human resource department. They listen to the grievances of the employees and help them cope with new situations and pressures. Changes at workplace can often appear threatening to workers and they need constant reassurances from the employers, which is why social workers are recruited. They serve as a compassionate channel between employers and employees.

LICENSURE:

Social worker requires a license before they join any institution. This license certifies that the social worker possesses adequate education to work in this capacity. The licensing needs and laws may differ in some states but they mostly revolve around a few important steps and requirements. In order to be considered eligible for the license, the social worker should be at least 21 years of age equipped with proper educational degree or certificate. he/she should possess a strong moral character and a person with a history of trouble with the authorities is never considered suitable for this kind of job. An application of licensure is submitted to the relevant authority along with all the other relevant documents. The fee of permanent licensure is close to $280 while for temporary permit, it is under $100. Applicants are also required to fulfill examination requirements. In most states social workers need to successfully clear the "Intermediate" examination, which is conducted by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB).

Occupational Outlook Handbook (1998) writes, "Since 1993, all States and the District of Columbia have had licensing, certification, or registration laws regarding social work practice and the use of professional titles. Standards for licensing vary by State. In addition, voluntary certification is offered by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), which grants the title ACSW (Academy of Certified Social Worker) or ACBSW (Academy of Certified Baccalaureate Social Worker) to those who qualify. For clinical social workers, who are granted the title QCSW (Qualified Clinical Social Worker), professional credentials include listing in the NASW Register of Clinical Social Workers. Advanced credentials include the NASW Diplomate in Clinical Social Work, and School Social Work Specialist."

SALARY:

Social workers with a bachelor's degree can earn between $28,000 and $30,000 a year while those with master's degree usually earn more than $35,000 annually. This general salary standard may not apply to some settings in some states but this is the latest figure for average earnings of social workers in the United States. Those with more experience can earn between $40,000 to $50,000 a year especially if they are working in clinical or federal institutions.

JOB PROSPECTS:

Most social workers with adequate academic credentials can find a job easily because of the ever-increasing number of new opportunities in this field. Since social workers can work in various kinds of settings, there is no lack of jobs for them in the United States. That coupled with the fact that there is a shortage of social work professional in our country indicates that new graduates will find themselves heavily in demand once they enter the job market. In 1996 alone, social workers held 585,000 jobs in the United States and since the demand for these professionals is consistently on the rise, which shows that, many young graduates can find a suitable job without much struggle.

CODE OF ETHICS:

The National Association of Social Workers has developed a proper code of ethics, which focuses on various aspects of a social worker's job responsibilities. The complete text of this code is available on the official web site of the NASW. The important of the code are being reproduced below:

Propriety: The social worker should maintain high standards of personal conduct in the capacity or identity as social worker.

Competence and Professional Development: The social worker should strive to become and remain proficient in the professional practice and the performance of professional functions.

Service: The social worker should regard as primary the service obligation of the social work profession.

Integrity: The social worker should act in accordance with the highest standards of professional integrity.

Primacy of Clients' Interests: The social worker's primary responsibility is to clients.

Rights and Prerogatives of Clients: The social worker should make every effort to foster maximum self-determination on the part of clients.

Confidentiality and Privacy: The social worker should respect the privacy of clients and hold in confidence all information obtained in the course of professional service.

Fees: When setting fees, the social worker should ensure that they are fair, reasonable, considerate and commensurate with the service performed and with due regard for the clients' ability to pay.

Maintaining the Integrity of the Profession: The social worker should uphold and advance the values, ethics, knowledge, and mission of the profession.

Community Service: The Social Worker should assist the profession in making social services available to the general public.

Promoting the General Welfare: The social worker should promote the general welfare of society."

This information is taken from the official website of National Association of Social workers (http://www.naswdc.org)

SOCIAL WORKERS AS ENTREPRENEURS:

Entrepreneurs around the globe have just one end in mind, maximization of profits. But this definition may not exactly apply to the new breed of businessmen commonly called 'social entrepreneurs' who claim they are more concerned about community's well being than their own profits. Whether we believe them or not, the fact remains that this new generation of businessmen are pursuing goals which are more society-oriented in nature. This means they are expanding the field of social work to encompass ideas that can be implemented on a larger scale. But the interesting thing is that unlike ordinary social workers, these entrepreneurs get both society's respect and money in return for their compassionate ideas and goals. Social workers should know that they are no longer required to work under someone because their empathetic ideals can now be put to more profitable use. In other words, like all other professionals, social workers can also become their own boss if they possess right amount of confidence, adequate resources and a great idea. Thompson et al. (2000) describe social entrepreneurs as."..people who realize where there is an opportunity to satisfy some unmet need that the state welfare system will not or cannot meet, and who gather together the necessary resources (generally people, often volunteers, money and premises) and use these to 'make a difference'"

Social entrepreneurship however is a controversial subject, as many people cannot connect philanthropic action with profits. Yet we need to understand that the primary reason why this type of business emerged is because the idea of United States being a welfare state no longer looks valid. But still there are some people who want to find ways to sustain communities with collaborative action which doesn't necessarily require governmental intervention (Reis, 1999). For this reason, those with social goals in mind are now trying to achieve the same with the help of self-owned organizations. As a result of which, they make adequate profits while the community stands to benefit from their creative ideas.

Catford (1998) explains why we need social entrepreneurs today, "Traditional welfare-state approaches are in decline globally, and in response new ways of creating healthy and sustainable communities are required. This challenges our social, economic and political systems to respond with new, creative and effective environments that support and reward change. From the evidence available, current examples of social entrepreneurship offer exciting new ways of realizing the potential of individuals and communities...into the 21st century" (p. 97).

Rodrigo Baggio of Rio de Janeiro wanted to expose poor children living in slum areas of Brazil to the exciting world of computers. His idea however did not generate much enthusiasm in his friends who firmly believed that poor people wouldn't want to learn computing skills. Yet seven years later, Baggio is running a successful network of 117 computer centers in 13 Brazilian cities. All these centers are located in slum areas and some 32,000 people have successfully completed their computers course from these schools. These young people are productively employed in different fields and some are operating their own businesses. (Mitchell et al., 2002)

This is how social workers can benefit from their philanthropic spirit and their generous actions. There is nothing…