What Government Jobs are Available in Social Work?

Social WorkAs social work becomes more involved in federal programs regarding healthcare, criminal justice, social services, social justice, child welfare, health policy, and behavioral health, there are many government jobs available in social work that you should keep in mind. Social workers play a prominent role in various levels and branches of government as they use their expertise to help individuals and families nationwide to cope with diverse life problems. Since there is an increased demand for healthcare and social services across specialty areas, employment of social workers is expected to grow much faster than average at the rate of 19 percent, thus creating over 114,100 new jobs in social work before 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are interested in working for the federal government, the following are the agencies that currently offer the highest number of social work-related positions.

Department of Health and Human Services

Founded with the mission of providing the building blocks that American citizens need to realize healthy and successful lives, the Department of Health and Human Services is a vast department that provides millions of children, families, and older adults with access to high-quality health services. Within the government’s principal agency for providing essential human services, there are social work jobs available in many subspecialties, including community health, geriatrics, HIV/AIDS, mental health, and substance abuse. Headquartered in our nation’s capital with ten regional offices countrywide, the HHS manages over 300 programs that often hire social workers to carry out its missions.

Social Security Administration

Known for being one of the largest independent agencies in the federal government with more than 1,400 field offices throughout the United States, the Social Security Administration is by far the largest federal employer of social workers with over 26,000 in its programs. Named the sixth best place to work in the federal government, the SSA delivers a wide range of social security services that meet the changing needs of the general public. Many social workers within the SSA are employed as eligibility workers to work directly with the public to determine claimant’s eligibility for benefits, speak with beneficiaries about their rights under federal laws, make critical decisions to determine benefit amounts, and update claims information.

Department of Veterans Affairs

Within the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are a multitude of social work-related positions to work as case managers, clinicians, hospital administrators, and leaders of community-based outreach programs throughout the United States. In fact, the VA currently employs over 9,000 social workers at the 57 facilities scattered across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and six territories. Social workers in the VA are particularly focused on providing high-quality healthcare and human services to the men and women who have served within the U.S. Armed Forces. As more and more veterans return home from overseas, there is expected to be a dramatic increase in the number of social workers needed to combat mental health concerns on the home front.

Related Resource: Social Worker

Overall, there are more than 40,000 social workers employed within the United States’ federal government at this time to serve as program analysts, policy makers, community outreach workers, case managers, and program administrators. In order to land one of these government jobs available in social work, you will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in social work, but it is strongly advised that you pursue a Master of Social Work for the best prospects.