Op-ed: Social Work: Is it a job for you?

Does today’s reality make you feel overwhelmed? Maybe make you field like there’s nothing you can do about it? Becoming a social worker might just be the answer you’re looking for.

We are in unprecedented times. The world is facing a pandemic, civil rights and social justice are being assaulted from every side, climate change is raging on unchecked, and we are becoming more and more politically divided.

As people struggle with the many facets of their lives impacted by COVID-19 and social injustice, society needs social workers. As individuals and families struggle with the mental health and economic impact of the pandemic, society needs social workers. As vulnerable populations suffer from racist social policies, society needs social workers. As communities struggle to recover and rebuild, society needs social workers. Social workers can guide us into a fair and just future for everyone. Social work is more important now than ever. Social workers are essential.

Addressing social needs is important every day, but even more important during crises. Communities need social support with the social and economic impact of COVID-19. As social workers, we are the voice for the powerless, fighting for social justice, the dignity and worth of people, and the importance of human relationships. We are here for the vulnerable and powerless. We are here for you. We are here for all.

Social work is a profession rooted in values that are needed in society today. Social workers set a professional example for how people should be treated and how we should strive for equity. Social workers empower individuals and families, work to change social policy, and support community change. The day in the life of a social worker is never the same as the day before or the day after. There is always a new challenge.

Social work combines the practices and knowledge of psychology, sociology, and biology into work with clients. Social workers interact with many different populations: individuals, families, groups, agencies, and communities. We practice at multiple levels simultaneously, such as mediating a relationship issue, accessing mental health counseling, working to strengthen family relationships, and helping them access community resources.

Social Work is a rapidly-growing profession. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work employment growth through 2028 is estimated to be much faster than average. There are many jobs for BSW graduates – nursing homes, hospitals, probation and parole, mental health centers, child and family services, community outreach, just to name a few. The BSW is considered a professional degree and allows you to go right into employment. If you graduate with a BSW from an accredited undergraduate program, you are eligible for advanced standing enrollment for an MSW, which means you could complete a Master’s degree in Social Work in as little as one additional year. The MSW degree opens the door to many more employment opportunities, such as clinical services, public schools, geriatrics, or administration.

The Castleton University Social Work Program will be open in the fall. We have adapted and we will be here for you!

If you know you want to help people, but maybe you’re not sure what field you should study, social work could be the answer for you! If you have been considering social work at CU as your major, now is the time. Join us!

If you are a social work major at CU, way to go! We appreciate your commitment and we are here to guide you towards your professional career.

If you are a professional social worker, thank you. The world needs you and we appreciate you!

For more information, contact Michael Reeves, Social Work Program Director (802)468-1395 or Michael.Reeves@Castleton .edu

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