Social Service in today's world has established itself as a leading profession at par with any other profession. Social workers help individuals and families deal with a variety of issues, including social, personal, professional, medical etc. They provide counseling and treatment for needy people.
There are various reasons for which a social worker is in high demand these days. Few of them are, forced labour, drug addiction, physical or mental disabilities, poverty, illiteracy, environmental challenges such as pollution, waste management, wildlife etc. There are numerous NGOs and institutions which are working for the betterment of these sensitive areas and providing services to different sections of the society. Many are engaged in research and publishing while others are active in solving problems at the grass root level.
Social Service is a profession for those with a strong desire to help improve people’s lives. There is a great level of satisfaction in doing something for others, which cannot be equaled or compensated by any remunerative job. Even those working in full-time jobs want to do some social work in their spare time. It is a personally rewarding career for those who have an interest in working with people, and in addressing social and community issues. The social work profession has its own body of knowledge, code of ethics, practice standards, credentials, state licensing, and a nationwide system of accredited education programmes.
What do they do?
Some social workers conduct research, engage in system designing or are involved in policy development. However, majority of social workers specialize in serving a particular population or working in a specific setting. Let’s take school social worker for example; a school social worker provides social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and to maximize their academic functioning. They ensure that students reach their academic and personal potential.
In addition, they address problems such as misbehavior, truancy, and teenage pregnancy. Increasingly, school social workers teach workshops to entire classes. Another vital area for social work would be mental health and substance abuse; such social workers assess and treat individuals with mental illness or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. Their services include individual and group therapy, outreach, crisis intervention, social rehabilitation etc. They provide psychosocial support to people, families, or vulnerable populations so that they can cope with chronic or terminal illnesses such as dementia, cancer or AIDS.
Keeping every domain in mind, it is important that you decide your area of specialization quite meticulously and then select an organization that caters to that need. Once you have identified this as a career option, you can apply for bachelors/masters in social work. While most institutions prefer to take students with a sociology or psychology background, work experience and dedication goes a long way. There is huge amount of work with NGOs, thus they constantly require dedicated people.
- Social Perceptiveness
- Active listener
- Self Awareness
- Communication skills
How do I get there?
Typical day in the life of a Social Service
There is no hour to hours schedule for social workers. Full-time social workers usually work a standard 40-hour week; however, some occasionally work evenings and weekends to meet with clients, attend community meetings, and handle emergencies. Some, particularly in voluntary nonprofit agencies, work part time.
Social workers usually spend most of their time in an office or residential facility, but also may travel locally to visit clients, meet with service providers, or attend meetings. Some may use a rented office within a local area to meet with clients.
Pros & Cons about this career
Emotional Satisfaction Versatility Wide range of options
Mentally and physically taxing, Stressful Working under pressure