Social Work

Roles of a Social Worker

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do, but how much love we put into the action that we do.” —Mother Teresa

“…most of us have a pretty good idea of what we what we expect from a doctor or a teacher. For social work, the role expectations are not quite as clearly understood by the general public. Perhaps this is because there are so many professional roles in social work. The number and diversity of social work roles provide opportunity for a great deal of creativity in practice.”
—Suppes, M., Cressey Wells, C. (2003)

Some of the many professional roles in Social Work are

Broker

The social worker is involved in the process of making referrals to link a family or person to needed resources. Social work professionals do not simply provide information. They also follow up to be sure the needed resources are attained. This requires knowing resources, eligibility requirements, fees and the location of services.

Advocate

In this role, social workers fight for the rights of others and work to obtain needed resources by convincing others of the legitimate needs and rights of members of society. Social workers are particularly concerned for those who are vulnerable or are unable to speak up for themselves. Advocacy can occur on the local, county, state or national level. Some social workers are involved in international human rights and advocacy for those in need.

Case Manager

Case managers are involved in locating services and assisting their clients to access those services. Case management is especially important for complex situations and for those who are homeless or elderly, have chronic physical or mental health issues, are disabled, victims of domestic or other violent crimes, or are vulnerable children.

Educator

Social Workers are often involved in teaching people about resources and how to develop particular skills such as budgeting, the caring discipline of children, effective communication, the meaning of a medical diagnosis, and the prevention of violence.

Facilitator

In this role, social workers are involved in gathering groups of people together for a variety of purposes including community development, self advocacy, political organization, and policy change. Social workers are involved as group therapists and task group leaders.

Organizer

Social Workers are involved in many levels of community organization and action including economic development, union organization, and research and policy specialists.

Manager

Social Workers, because of their expertise in a wide variety of applications, are well suited to work as managers and supervisors in almost any setting. As managers, they are better able to influence policy change and/or development, and to advocate, on a larger scale, for all underprivileged people.

Social Worker: A professional YOU can be proud to be!