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Child, Family and School Social Workers

Child, family and school social workers work with children and families who are struggling with social and psychological issues at school, in the home or in their communities. Social workers in these environments interact with a wide variety of issues related to children, families and school life. These types of social workers could find employment in foster care agencies, government programs and schools.

Medical Social Workers

Medical social workers assist individuals and families who are dealing with an illness or health-related issue. They help clients and their families navigate a range of issues, including coping, counseling, referrals and health education. Similarly, public health social workers assist communities dealing with illnesses and complications related to community disasters or widespread sickness. Both of these kinds of social workers provide many different types of services to their clients in order to help them cope and improve their well-being. 

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers

Mental health and substance abuse social workers work with individuals, groups, families and couples to provide treatment for mental illness and substance abuse. Treatment can involve intense therapy and counseling. Many jobs in this branch of social work require an MSW.

Military Social Workers

Military social workers help service members and their families with the challenges of military life. This may include treating veterans for post-traumatic stress, helping a family cope with a loved one’s deployment and coping with injuries related to the service. This branch of social work is especially important and in demand at this time in our country’s history, with many military personnel and their families seeking assistance during or after their service. Most military social workers have an MSW.

Community Social Workers

Community social workers improve conditions and provide resources for particular communities. A community social worker will often focus on community organization and development, planning, administration and social action to improve conditions within their communities. These types of social workers often work with large groups of people, as opposed to other types of social work where one more often works with individuals, families or small groups.

Social Work Administrators, Researchers, Planners and Policymakers

Social work administrators, researchers, planners and policymakers belong to another group of social workers. They often hold administrative roles and do not work directly with the individuals or groups they are aiming to help. They may lead a team of social workers, conduct research, draft policy, raise funds or write grants. Often social workers who work in these areas once worked as another kind of social worker, and they now use their expertise to improve the field and advocate for change.

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