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Social work jobs can describe a whole range of different occupations. In this article, we will unpack a few of these different job roles and show how they fit into the larger picture of social work. There is a global understanding of what social work is; but in short it promotes social change, cohesion and the empowerment and liberation of people. These all worthy endeavours, however, it also encapsulates a large variety of roles, positions and responsibilities. So let’s have a look at some of the roles which are available within the world of social work.
Social workers often specialise in dealing with children and family, this can range from anything to helping a child integrate more within a school, to having to assess whether a child is being adequately looked after/treated by their parent or guardian. A social worker may deal with even larger “families” when it comes to a community social worker. This role entails making sure all members of a community feel like they are actively part of the society, contributing one way or another. While also finding those who feel isolated from the community to not feel this way, and to help reconnections to the community occur.
Social workers also play a role within the medical community. This can be helping people who have been disabled, terminally ill, or with certain mental conditions. Their role here is often similar to that of a social worker helping in the community. By this, I mean that people through disabilities, illnesses or mental conditions can often feel excluded from the rest of society that is fit and healthy. Therefore, social workers in this field helps how how this bridge can be gapped, and allowing someone who might be heavily dependent on help and support feel as autonomous as possible.
Social workers are also a vital part of the justice system. They are key in many areas, including the rehabilitation of those in jail, helping to prepare them for when they re-enter the world. Just as importantly, they also help when someone has left jail, making sure they are integrating positively back in the outside world, while making sure they are following the rules of their probation.
There are many other different roles within social work. Yet these areas show some of the most common, yet diverse roles social care is part of. It shows a common trend though of helping those who feel isolated to feel less so, helping the more vulnerable members of society, and bringing about a level of positive change within someone.