Having a passion for helping others is important, but being a social worker requires so much more.
People who are experiencing the most vulnerable time in their lives rely on social workers to connect them with resources and find solutions to complex problems.
Social workers use their skills and expertise to promote good mental health, strengthen relationships, and end generational cycles of trauma and substance use, ultimately creating healthier families and communities.
Social workers are in it for the outcome, not the income. Social workers provide a majority of America’s mental health services. Being a social worker is not going to make you financially rich.
Many professionals are drawn to the field because they are passionate about helping others and doing meaningful work. That said, social workers deserve competitive compensation packages for the valuable contributions they make.
Social workers provide a majority of America’s mental health services
According to a study conducted by Health-Affairs, professional social workers are estimated to be the largest group of mental health service providers in the United States. In fact, social workers are often the only mental health care providers in many rural and remote communities. There are more clinically trained social workers than psychiatrists, psychologists and psychiatric nurses combined.
Social workers contribute at all levels of society and have to make hard decisions: Social work is a broad, diverse field where the work extends across many settings. These professionals work with individuals, families, schools, universities, nonprofit agencies, corporations, hospitals and government agencies.
They are also active in politics at all levels. Social workers advocate for legislation and policies that improve the quality of life for children and adults.
Making decisions that impact peoples'’ lives is a huge responsibility for social workers. Above all, safety is the number one driver of those decisions. Most social workers collaborate with families, fellow staff members and other stakeholders to explore all possibilities and make well-informed decisions.
The job is not a typical 8-hour workday
There is no typical day for a social worker. Social work professionals spend much of their time out in the community rather than in an office. Their schedule often consists of attending court hearings, meeting with clients, supervising visits, completing training and advocating for their clients’ needs.