Five Ways Social Workers Can Help Improve People’s Lives in a Community
Social work is one of the best ways to serve your community. It is not just self-fulfilling and rewarding but also helps contribute toward a community’s harmony.
Social workers help provide emotional, social, and physical support to a community facing real-world challenges.
These challenges can include hunger and poverty, environmental disasters, terrorism, war, pandemic, health crisis, etc. The world is full of such communities that can become better with some assistance.
We see and hear of multiple disasters happening all around the world. The global COVID-19 pandemic, terrorist attacks, and blasts left people homeless and children as orphans.
Additionally, social problems such as domestic violence, sexual abuse, mental health concerns, and drug abuse are also a cry for help. Professional social workers offer their welfare services to the weak and vulnerable members of society and help them deal with their traumas and adjust to everyday life.
Their services often go unnoticed, but social workers help stabilize society by helping to solve a society’s toughest challenges and improving the quality of life of the community as a whole.
- Demand for Social Workers
There is much-increased demand for social workers now more than ever. Due to the increasing mental health and suicidal concerns in the US, many people now want to opt for specialized social work studies.
If you care about the social well-being of your people, you can register for LCSW programs offered by top institutions.
The Licensed Clinical Social Workers program offers a variety of specializations, such as masters in child and family social work, masters in school social work, masters in clinical social work, etc.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment level of professional social workers in the US will increase by 12% in the coming decade.
Each year, about 78,300 job openings for social workers will be available this decade. The increase in demand will come from retiring old-age workers or those who switched to different professions.
Moreover, the starting median annual average salary for social workers after graduation is $51,760. This figure keeps growing as you continue to grow in the field.
Now let us look at some actual contributions you can make in any society as a professional social work graduate.
- Work for Family Welfare
As a professional social worker, you can help build and repair relationships among family members. It is not the same as family counseling. As a social worker, you help ensure that:
- A child gets the proper home and family environment to grow up in
- Your client’s physical, mental and emotional state is stable enough to take care of themselves and their families
- Your client gets proper financial assistance if required by monitoring their employment and financial situation
- Families reunite if separated by war, accidents, child custody cases, etc.
- Families get the proper resources that they require for their well-being
- Their interpersonal problems get resolved by providing counseling
Additionally, couples going through a divorce with a child custody case can put a lot of strain on a family.
A social worker assesses the family’s case and provides the necessary counseling to help them during their tough time.
Social workers also assess the family dynamics to see if the environment is fit for a child. It also goes for adoption cases of children.
Couples who want to adopt have to let a social analyst assess their case first before officially filing for adoption.
If the social worker disproves the couple’s ability to raise the child, they cannot file for adoption. In such a case, the social worker works for the government.
- Help Plummet Poverty Issues
According to the World Bank, people living below the poverty line will reach 150 million by this year. Social workers provide people with the education and resources to come out of poverty.
Professional social workers help align targeted resources, collect donations, and help provide a safer and healthy place. The efforts of social workers regarding poverty include:
- Providing food, clothing, and shelter for the poor by raising donations
- Helping the poor connect with local NGOs and government organizations to file for financial benefits, healthcare, and child support
- Communicating challenges faced by the poor to their local governments and helping resolve the issues
- Providing access to primary education and job opportunities for the unskilled
- Educating and encouraging the poor communities to change their environment and current state
- Help with Drug Abuse Problems
Drug addiction and abuse are on the rise in the US, especially among the younger generation. Children resort to drugs from as young as 14 years of age.
Peer pressure, depression, anxiety, and bullying are the top causes of turning toward drugs. They start taking illegal drugs as a way to escape from their reality. Death from overdose is also widespread in this decade.
Professional social workers are equipped to deal with drug addicts. They recognize the problems that drug abusers face and help them get proper resources and care.
They review the client’s current state and health history in their professional capacity and recommend them to the proper healthcare professional or institute.
They then work with those healthcare providers to communicate their client’s needs and help devise a proper treatment plan.
They also provide counseling to their client’s family members to help them cooperate and deal with the addiction problem.
In addition, they also help spread awareness about addiction and its causes so that people can reach out to them for help, support, and guidance.
- Work with Mental Health Patients
There is also an increase in mental health concerns amongst US citizens. People from all backgrounds now face this issue.
Many of those who resort to drugs go through anxiety or depression and suicidal thoughts. Before the matter gets worse, social workers intervene and help them get the proper care.
First, they figure out the problems that the individual is facing. Then, they try to find the root cause of their problems.
If they face financial trouble or relationship issues, social workers work with them to help resolve the issue.
If the matter gets worse, they recommend a professional to provide proper counseling to the patient and their family.
They also work with mental health institutions and professionals to devise a treatment plan geared toward their care.
Social workers with a specialized degree in mental health also work with rehabilitation centers and psychic wards in hospitals to care for mental health patients.
They act as the patient’s well-wisher and provide them with the necessary resources to get better.
- Provide Support to Disaster Victims
Disasters like pandemics, wars, natural disasters, or an emergency call for the quick action of social workers.
They are the first to help connect any victims in a disaster to the required resources. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, social workers were on the front line setting up camps and connecting relevant resources.
They used to visit people’s homes to check up on their health and report any pandemic issues to the relevant healthcare providers. They act as professional volunteers, trying to stabilize an emergency.
Their job also includes providing social, mental, and emotional relief to victims of a disaster.
Additionally, if families split up due to a disaster such as a flood or an earthquake, they help them reunite. If they run into trouble, they contact relevant agencies for their services.
Becoming a professional social worker opens doors to many opportunities within the field. With a specialized degree in social work, you can help bring real change to society.
It is a highly gratifying and self-fulfilling journey. It might be a challenging path, but it is equally gratifying if you are passionate about helping your community.
You can choose any specialized program among the LCSW programs to advance in the field.