What Roles Do Social Workers Have in the Military?

Social Worker Roles in the Military

The military is one department of our government that has virtually all professionals—social workers included. What are the roles of social workers? After the Second World War, social workers in the military service became a norm. The purpose of these officers continues to broaden. Here are the core duties of these officers.

Social Casework

The military combat environment is prone to all manner of dangers. Life and death are juxtaposed; life-altering injuries, disabilities, and separation are the way of life. In such an environment, the officers must have the right mental capacity to succeed. This ideal situation is not always the case. Social workers work with military officers to help them towards this goal. They aid in the diagnosis, treatment, and understanding disposition to mental and emotional problems. Apart from casework, they also offer family and group psychotherapy sessions.

Help Veterans and On-Duty Officers Cope With Daily Activities

Today, virtually every officer requires psychoanalysis and conditioning. As the officers encounter traumatic incidences during combat, their ability to cope and deliver in a demanding environment is tested. Case officers work hand-in-hand with active officers to determine their suitability or to foster resilience in their work. Now that the conditions cannot change— at least not fundamentally — the officer has to adapt. The social worker must excel in this role to be effective. Part of this is dependent on how well the person adjusts his social work skills into the military setting. That is why military caseworkers have to go through specialized training.

Help In Recruitment, Training, and Transitions

A social worker plays a part in recruitment, during training, deployment, and transition to veteran status. Social workers assist officers in every step of the way. Each stage presents unique challenges to officers. For example, recruits find it hard to adapt to the physical and emotional requirements. The same case applies to retiring officers who now have to re-socialize to civilian life. It is, therefore, paramount for the counselor to understand the military culture. He must also understand a multitude of other military contexts including risks, vulnerabilities, socialization, and conflicting social and transactional systems.

Monitoring and Evaluation of Officers during Active Duty

While this can happen at the individual level, social workers often focus on a long-term strategy of collecting and analyzing data. This survey can help understand the various needs of the team. It can also help in understanding vulnerabilities, risk factors, challenges, and opportunities. Liaison with other departments and agencies to develop preventive and promotional health programs also depends on evidence-based recommendations. A case officer must provide military-relevant, culturally and contextually, services. To be effective in this role, officers organize community sessions in the military bases that foster bonding, teamwork, resilience.

Related Resource: The Top 10 Best Online Social Work Degree Programs

Military social workers do a critical role in the service. They mind the emotional and mental welfare of our military officers through diagnosis and treatment. Without the services of social workers, military officers will be at the risk of developing severe mental and emotional health problems.