E SOCIAL WORKERS?
SOCIAL WORKERS help people – as individuals, in families, groups, or communities – to work their way through difficult situations. Most of these problems relate to life challenges and changes, community, family, children, and social issues. Persons falling into any of these categories who are in touch with the right type of agency could probably be put in touch with a social worker to help them to work through the problems that they are experiencing to get themselves back on track.
WHAT THE WORK INVOLVES
At some time during the work day, a social worker may:
Conduct interviews with people and communities in need of help
Help clients in adjusting to changes and challenges such as illness, divorce, unemployment, old age, retirement, redundancy and other situations
Respond to immediate emergencies such as child abuse and mental health issues
Followup with clients to ensure that they are making progress in improving their situation
IIIIReview services provided to ensure that they are effective and that needs are being met.
Most social workers find work with government agencies related to areas such as health, education, community development, housing, policing, community organisations, and others. Their work can vary depending on the type of agency for which they work and the type of client. Clients may be people with addictions, persons adopting or fostering a child, or the elderly in need of assistance.
IWHO IS THIS CAREER FOR?
This career is for someone with great empathy for people with problems. Compassion and the ability to connect with a variety of people from varying backgrounds and situations will be essential. A successful social worker must have good communication skills in order to listen to, interpret, and understand client needs. Time-management and organisational skills become important when documenting client information, maintaining client files, and scheduling time to meet the needs of all clients.
WHAT CAN I EARN?
Most jobs in the area of social work are usually government or government-agency related, with lower-midlevel salaries. Of course, higher degrees will earn you a higher salary level. You will also earn great personal satisfaction in this career, which may make up for financial rewards if this is truly your calling.
HOW DO I QUALIFY?
You will need a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in social work. Degree programmes include courses such as research techniques, sociology, behavioural sciences, psychology, social policy, and sign language. Practicums are also included in the programmes.
At the secondary level, get a sound education and include sociology if possible. To qualify for a degree programme, you may be asked to show evidence of community-service work, which you have done in order to prove your strong interest in this area.
WHO OFFERS TRAINING IN JAMAICA?
This is a relatively easy programme to find at the tertiary level, with many universities, teachers’ colleges, and other institutions offering the programme.
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