Recently, the field of Social Work has been expanding and its definitions are broadening to encompass a wider array of subjects and job descriptions. With the recent changes in the economy, people are more cautious about choosing career paths that can survive a recession. When it comes to social work, the job outlook actually improves during a downturn in the economy. Here are five Social Work areas that are expanding with more need for competent social workers:
It’s an age old fact that instances of substance abuse rise when the economy is struggling. For some people, alcohol and drugs offer the only relief to the tremendous mountain of problems that they are facing. While those without substance abuse problems know that drugs and alcohol don’t make anything better, it can be difficult to convince addicts of this fact. Social workers can be a great help to people who are struggling to overcome an addiction of any type.
When people don’t have health insurance, they often turn to community-based service providers for help with mental health issues. It stands to reason that more people seek help for depression during a recession, making the need for social workers a great one. If you have a desire to help those who are struggling with depression, stress or anxiety, a job as a social worker can be rewarding.
More people than ever are struggling to survive without medical insurance. Because so many citizens have lost their insurance, there is a greater need for alternative, cheaper forms of assistance. Many social workers are turning to online counseling as a way to help those in their community. Not only can online counseling be less expensive, it can be an easier, more anonymous way for people to seek help when they need it.
With the tremendous rise in unemployment, thousands of people are struggling not only to keep their homes, but to do things as simple as keep the utilities connected. Social workers can help put people in touch with assistance programs and community agencies that can assist people who are struggling financially. This is especially important for people who care for elderly parents, extended family or have children.
Many people don’t consider that children can experience stress; after all, what do kids have to worry about? Children are as affected emotionally by the economy as their parents are. Children may overhear parents discussing late bills, possible foreclosure or even hear their parents fighting. Children often worry in silence, compounding their anxiety by keeping it bottled inside. A child’s stress may exhibit itself in behavioral changes, mood swings and even changes in grades. Social workers employed by the school district can be a great help to these children, offering a sympathetic ear and possible solutions.
Social work is a career path for those who want to make a career out of helping people. If you have a desire to help people and your community as a whole, pursuing a career in social work could fulfill this desire. Consider the new ways in which Social Work is expanding and determine whether you desire to help people could lead you to one of these broadening positions.
Brandy Bradley is a full-time writer for higher ed blogs and journals nationwide with a focus on online education opportunities. Several schools offer degrees in social work, including University of New England and Boston University.