Can I Work Part Time as a Social Worker?

It is very possible to work part time as a social worker. Most state’s Department of Human Services consistently post part-time positions that generally come with unique work schedules, such as evenings or weekends. There are also many private sector jobs for social workers. The job outlook for social workers is expected to grow at 12 percent through the year 2024, which is faster than average.

Family Social Worker

Family social workers are employed by the state and community organizations to protect vulnerable children and designated groups, like minorities and battered women. They provide help to families in need of various forms of assistance. For example, they help families find stable housing, childcare and other community services. They also coordinate with self-sufficiency branches to help their clients apply for medical services, such as state sponsored health plans, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is commonly referred to as food stamps. Family social workers may work in child protective services (CPS) departments and intervene when children are in danger of neglect or abuse. When states receive additional funding for work positions, they often post “job share” positions that are part time.

Clinical Social Workers

While most clinical social workers are employed by hospitals and state community programs, some non-profits employ them to diagnose and treat mental, behavioral and emotional disorders of homeless and disenfranchised populations. Non-profit organizations often have limited financial resources, so they employ social workers part time to meet with clients to develop strategies to change behaviors and cope with difficult situations. They often quickly meet clients in order to refer them to appropriate services and resources, such as domestic violence support groups or mental health professional who provide services to low-income clients. They coordinate treatment plans with the doctors, social workers and other health care professionals. They may also provide mental health care support to help children and families cope with changes in their lives, such as divorce or financial problems.

Health Care Social Workers

Health care organizations employ a variety of social workers to help patients understand their diagnosis, locate support services and make the necessary adjustments to their finances, lifestyle and housing. For example, these social workers may help patients transition from long hospital stays back to their homes with health aides. They usually provide information on services, such as home health care volunteers or disease support groups. These social workers help doctors and other health care professionals understand the socio-psychological effects that diseases and illnesses have on their patients’ mental and physical health. Some health care social workers specialize in geriatric, hospice or medical social work. For instance, geriatric social workers help older adults find appropriate services, such as home meal or assisted living programs. Hospice or palliative care social workers help patients adjust to chronic or terminal illnesses.

Social workers can also find work part time as school social workers who work with teachers, parents, administrators and other professionals to develop plans and strategies to improve student’s mental health, social development and academic performance. They often deal with challenging problems like absenteeism, violence and gang related behaviors.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Online Social Work Degree Programs