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WHAT IS SOCIAL WORK?

Social work is a profession for those with a passion to help others. According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), social work practice consists of the professional application of social work values, principles, and techniques to one or more of the following ends: helping people obtain tangible services; providing counseling and psychotherapy with individuals, families, and groups; helping communities or groups provide or improve social and health services; and participating in relevant legislative processes. The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; of social, economic, and cultural institutions; and of the interaction of these factors. Many social workers specialize in serving a particular population or working in a specific setting, such as hospitals, schools, private practices, correctional facilities, community mental health agencies, and substance abuse treatment centers. If you want a career with meaning, action, diversity, satisfaction, and an abundance of options, social work is for you!

LICENSING REQUIREMENTS

States legally regulate the practice of social work to protect the public and control the use of the social work title and practice. Each state defines by law what is required for each level of social work license. Our students are exceptionally well prepared for the Bachelor’s level licensure exam. In 2010 100% of our students passed the exam on their first attempt, as compared to the 78% national average. Baccalaureate and master’s degrees must be obtained from programs of social work that are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

CAREER PROSPECTS IN SOCIAL WORK

For sheer variety, few occupations can match social work and the broad range of opportunities and settings it offers. Our students are prepared to work in careers such as aging and gerontology, child and family welfare, developmental disabilities, domestic violence, health care, homelessness, justice and corrections, international social work, mental health, policy and planning, school social work, and substance abuse treatment. Social workers are administrators, therapists, community organizers, educators, and researchers. They are in large cities and in small communities. Wherever people are, social workers are.

Many of our students will use the undergraduate major as preparation for graduate work in social work. Students who have undergraduate degrees in social work can apply for one-year accelerated master of social work (MSW) programs. An MSW degree prepares students for advanced practice and is the degree necessary to provide mental health counseling in most states.

Some of our undergraduate social work majors enter various graduate and professional programs including business, law, medicine, and public health.

SOCIAL WORK RESOURCES

Association of Social Work Boards: www.aswb.org/
Code of Ethics: www.naswdc.org/pubs/code/code.asp
Council on Social Work Education: www.cswe.org/
Help Starts Here (A Guide to the Social Work Profession): www.helpstartshere.org
National Association of Black Social Workers: www.nabsw.org
National Association of Social Workers: www.naswdc.org/
National Association of Social Workers Ohio Chapter: www.naswoh.org/
State of Ohio Social Work Licensing Board: www.cswmft.ohio.gov/