Explore The Social Work Profession
Social work is an excellent career choice for those who care about human dignity and social justice. The field is just as diverse as the individuals, families, and communities we serve. Learn about the many career options in the field, how to get started on a social work career path, internships, licensing, and more.
Choose the Profession
Social work is an excellent career choice. Learn about the many career options the profession has to offer.
To be a social worker, one must have a degree in social work from an accredited college or university program.
Two recently passed bills that offer loan forgiveness for social workers are the Higher Education Act and the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007. Get the latest information on loan forgiveness eligibility at the state and national levels at NASW's Loan Forgiveness Web page. Find out if you qualify for any loan forgiveness programs.
If you are having difficulty paying your loans, contact your lender immediately. You may qualify for deferment, forbearance or another form of payment relief. It is important to take action before you accrue late fees as this may impact your eligibility for payment relief or loan forgiveness programs.
Another federal program that helps social workers is the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program (NHSC LPR). This program offers fully trained and licensed clinical social workers $50,000 to repay student loans in exchange for two years serving in a community-based site in a high-need Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) that has applied to, and been approved by, the NHSC as a service site. For more information about the loan repayment program, eligibility requirements, employment opportunities in HPSAs, and NHSC contact information, click here.
NASW Center for Work Force Studies
The NASW Center for Workforce Studies was established in 2004 with a three-fold mission:
- To conduct studies of the current social work labor force as well as collect information from other sources in order to serve as a unique clearinghouse for educators, policy makers, social workers, and public and private work force planners;
- To enhance social work professional development through innovative training programs in emerging practice areas; and
- To disseminate timely information and resources on evidence-based practices.
A state social work license is. . .
- Issued to regulate the practice of social work
- Issued to protect the public
- Issued by and useful only in the jurisdiction (state) where the holder plans to practice.
Licensing requirements vary from jurisdiction. Visit the state regulatory board directly or the Association of Social Work Boards, for a list of social work state licensing agencies or for a comparison of state regulations.
Your field work puts you at risk for being sued. Lessen your risk of ethics complaints and malpractice lawsuits and protect yourself from financial devastation if you are sued. From malpractice to life insurance, NASW Assurance Services, Inc. (ASI) had you covered.
Avoid malpractice lawsuits by educating yourself. Sign up for the latest risk management techniques workshop and earn 3.0 CEs by clicking here. You can also take an online malpractice risk management course and earn 2.0 free CEs by clicking here.
Credentials and Certifications
NASW credentials and certifications provide recognition to those social workers who have met national standards for higher levels of specialized knowledge, skills, and experience. Credentials and certification enhance your state license.
www.HelpsStartsHere.org is your source for professional advice, inspiring stories, and a social worker directory.