Social work is a practice undertaken by trained professionals to alleviate the living conditions of families, individuals, communities, or groups suffering from social deprivation. The social workers ensure that vulnerable people such as children and the elderly are protected from harmful environments. They execute their duties in various areas, including hospitals, the military, community, psychiatric centers, healthcare centers, and schools. They usually relate with people professionally and act as advocates and guides. This report is based on the interview with Dominique A.W, a master’s level social worker who possesses a license and is a trained clinical social worker. Besides, she is a certified case manager and is an adherent of the National Association of Social Workers.
The process of becoming a social worker necessitates the completion of specific educational and training requirements. An undergraduate degree in social work or any other correlated courses is the minimum qualification required. A person should then acquire a master’s qualification in social work and complete all the fieldwork requirements, after which he or she should apply for the state social work license. Dominique’s course of being a social worker began in 2014 when she received her undergraduate degree in psychology at Old Dominion University, situated in Norfolk, VA. She then further pursued a master’s level degree in social work at the University of South Carolina and graduated in 2017.
People’s choice to become social workers is influenced by many factors, including the need to help people, many job opportunities, excellent communication skills, and passion for human rights. Some people are also motivated by specific incidences and experiences, making them view the career differently (Salsberg et al., 2017). A wide range of factors made Dominique choose to become a social worker. Firstly, she had ambitions of becoming a therapist since she possessed an undergraduate degree in psychology. When she was pursuing her bachelor’s degree, her practicum was at an adult day support program for individuals who have severe mental illnesses. Her role at the program was managing cases and supporting psychoeducational groups in a diverse population, including psychotic disorders, mood disorders, and anxiety.
Moreover, the time she spent as a research assistant at a child abuse program helped enhance Dominique’s decision to be a social worker. The experiences at the program made her realize that social work was the right path for her. She found out that all of the therapists were licensed social workers, including the program director. This realization made her understand that possessing a social work degree was much extensive than only working at the DSS. She also talked with some of the licensed social workers at the child abuse program about their career path, and they made her realize she wanted to pursue social work.
Social work degrees enable people to practice the profession and provide the individuals with the necessary knowledge and skills to support people to improve their living conditions and change their environments. Dominique believes that her degree in social work has helped her meet her job goals today because if not for her degree and license, it would not have been possible for her to be where she is today.
Currently, Dominique is a licensed clinical social worker, a job where one requires to have a master of social work and clinical licensure for Sentara Behavioral Health specialists, which is situated in Virginia Beach. Her job involves providing counseling services within a family medicine practice (Watt, n.d). She also assists individuals with mood disorders, anxiety, psychotic disorders, family life stresses, and substance use. She is busy mainly because her work begins at 8:00 am and stops at 5:00 pm, and she also typically sees about 9 to 11 patients in a day.
Social workers help people find resources and cope with various difficulties such as drug addiction, poverty, domestic abuse, and emotional and physical disabilities. A good foundation received in some classes usually assists aspiring social workers in achieving a good start in their career by developing critical thinking, diagnostic, and writing skills needed on the job (Salsberg et al., 2017). Human behavior in the social environment and psychopathology are the classes Dominique took in school, which probably help her the most today. Furthermore, she believes these classes are generally the most essential for becoming a proficient social worker. Dominique also trusts that the knowledge she received in the university and from practicum field instructors at an elementary school, where she worked with emotionally disturbed children and state psychiatric hospitals, sufficiently prepared her for her current job.
People consider a career in social work today because of many reasons ranging from job opportunities, self-improvement, the career path is versatile, and the chance to change the world. Dominique believes that social work is a good profession for new graduates to venture into because she feels fulfilled in her line of work. Strangers share their most personal and vulnerable information with her because they are confident she will assist them. Besides, social work is a growing profession, and it is required in various settings, including hospitals, schools, prisons, active-duty, DSS, police stations, libraries, and private practices.
Salsberg, E., Quigley, L., Mehfoud, N., Acquaviva, K. D., Wyche, K., & Silwa, S. (2017). Profile of the social work workforce. Web.
Watt, D. (n.d). Sentara Behavioral Health Specialists. A Department of Sentara Norfolk General Hospital.