5 Places a Social Worker Can Work

A degree in social work opens a variety of exciting career opportunities. Social workers can find jobs in a wide array of different settings, and there is perpetually high demand for these professionals. By familiarizing yourself with the most popular places for social workers to work, you can more capably map out your career trajectory.

1. Nursing Homes

Seniors are among the most vulnerable members of our society. Sadly, they are often taken advantage of and treated poorly. If you would like to make a difference in the lives of the elderly, working in a nursing home may be right for you. As a gerontology social worker, you will advocate for seniors and serve as a liaison between them and caregivers, relatives, nursing homes, doctors and others. Social workers in nursing homes assist clients with issues like elder abuse and end-of-life planning and take steps to make seniors’ lives as healthy and happy as possible.

2. Mental Health Facilities

If you would like to make a direct and meaningful impact on patients’ and clients’ lives, working as a social worker in a mental health facility should be right up your alley. Mental health social workers can find jobs in hospitals, community mental health centers, mental hospitals and similar facilities. They assess patients’ mental health, develop treatment plans and assisting in carrying out those plans. Because they deal with people who are struggling with mental and behavioral problems and disorders, their work is very demanding. However, most find it incredibly rewarding too.

3. Hospices

It takes a special kind of person to assist people who are nearing the end of life. If you are naturally compassionate and empathetic, becoming a palliative or hospice social worker may be right for you. These professionals most commonly work in hospice facilities, but they sometimes go to patients’ homes or have their own offices. Hospice social workers help to relive and prevent patients’ pain and assist patients and their families in making end-of-life decisions. Although the work is often stressful, it feels good to know you’re making a positive difference during such a difficult time.

4. Schools

Schools are among the most popular places for social workers to work. School social workers are in high demand in most areas, and they work with students in grades kindergarten through 12. These professionals liaison with parents, children, teachers and schools to ensure kids’ educational requirements are being met. They also connect kids and their families with community resources and assist in behavioral interventions. Because they typically work with delinquents, truants, foster kids and special needs students, their work is often demanding and stressful. However, their assistance makes a direct, positive impact on people’s lives.

5. Substance Abuse Treatment Facilities

Addicts need a lot of help and support to turn their lives around. That’s true regardless of their station in life. Of the many professionals who assist such individuals, substance abuse social workers are among the most crucial. These professionals counsel patients through various issues, including relapses and addictive behaviors, and they participate in crisis interventions and other situations. They can find jobs in rehabilitation centers, health care centers, prisons, juvenile and foster care centers, community service agencies and other facilities, and they play direct and meaningful roles in helping people turn their lives around.

As a social worker, your employment options will be incredibly diverse. In fact, the trickiest part may be narrowing things down to a single role or position. Many social workers move through different areas during their careers, however, so you don’t have to worry about becoming “stuck” in a certain career path.