Social workers help people cope with problems on a daily basis.
These workers can work in a wide variety of settings, from mental health clinics to schools, hospitals, child welfare homes and more. Social work is defined by the National Association of Social Work as a way to “ensure that all people have equal access to the resources and opportunities that allow them to meet their basic needs.”
Clinical social workers, a subset within the social work industry, diagnose and treat mental, behavioral and emotional issues that people are dealing with. Like general social workers, clinical social workers can be found in numerous settings, from private practices to community mental health and primary care agencies.
A Glimpse at Clinical Social Work Careers
Within clinical social work there are many unique jobs that future social workers can strive for and ultimately end up working as.
- Child, Family and School Social Workers: These social workers provide social services and assistance to help improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families to help them in school and work settings. The social workers could also assist parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abused children. The social workers could also address serious issues with students, including teen pregnancy, misbehaving in class and truancy. Child, family and school social workers earned a median annual wage of $44,380 in 2017, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Healthcare Social Workers: These social workers assist families and groups with psychological and social support that’s needed to deal with serious illness, such as terminal cancer. The social workers advise caregivers, provide patient counseling and make referrals for other specialists. They could also provide interventions to promote health and prevent disease, or conduct case management. Healthcare social workers earned a median annual wage of $54,870 in 2017, per the BLS.
- Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers: These social workers treat individuals with mental, emotional and/or substance-abuse problems. This can include alcohol abuse, tobacco and/or other drug addictions and more. The social workers could coordinate group therapy sessions, crisis intervention, education and client advocacy among others. Mental health and substance abuse social workers earned a median annual wage of $43,250 in 2017, per the BLS.
Blueprint of an Effective Clinical Social Worker
There are many skills that can be acquired and learned to become an effective clinical social worker.
- Communication skills: Having the ability to effectively communicate serious matters with a client and his or her family, as well as listening to the client as he or she explains the problems at hand.
- Organizational skills: The ability to manage numerous clients and stay on top of the unique differences between each client.
- Problem-solving skills: Obviously, clinical social workers are working to provide support and help clients solve problems. Being able to give the right advice as well as developing strategies to curb and prevent the problems is crucial.
- Interpersonal skills: Clinical social workers must work with a variety of people from different backgrounds, making it necessary to establish a connection with each client on multiple levels.
- Emotional intelligence: It’s important to be aware that clients are going through painful and stressful situations, and having the awareness and understanding of those situations helps provide clients with the support they need.
Learn more about Clinical Social Work
Life as a clinical social worker is one of the most rewarding professions available. If you’d like to learn more about how to become one, enroll today in Brescia University’s fully online Bachelor of Social Work degree completion program and Master of Social Work programs. For the bachelor’s degree, you can finish in as little as two years, adding to your associate degree in human services or a similar degree.
In both programs, you’ll learn the latest social work trends from knowledgeable faculty with your success in mind. Plus, you can take advantage of our fully online format, allowing you to complete your degree while balancing a busy schedule.