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Social Work Career Center NASW JobLink - The Social Work Career Center

Choose The Profession

If you’re looking for a career with meaning, action, diversity, satisfaction, and an abundance of options, consider social work.  Social workers are people who care about people, who want to make things better, who want to relieve suffering, who want their work to make a difference.

Social work is a profession devoted to helping people function the best they can in their environment. This can mean providing direct services or therapy directly to people (called "clients"). It also can mean working for change to improve social conditions.

The phrase "in their environment" points to a distinguishing characteristic of social work—one that sets it apart from other helping professions. Social workers help clients deal not only with how they feel about a situation but also with what they can do about it. For example, a man suffering stress stemming from single parenting may be referred by a social worker to a child care agency. The social worker also might help him explore flextime with his employer and might work with a coalition of local employers to make flextime and child care more available. In addition, the social worker might provide therapy to help him handle the immediate stress.

Many social workers work for social change as well. The victim of an assault benefits not only from therapy but also from efforts to curb neighborhood crime. The client under stress because illness has devastated the family finances benefits from efforts to reform the nation’s health care system.

HelpStartsHere is a resource web site for consumers who want more information about social work, social workers, and social work services. HelpStartsHere is filled with information, articles, professional advice developed by licensed social workers for the general public.  

Social Work Specialty Occupational Profiles
Below are a list of specific practice areas in which social workers specialize. These occupational profiles provide an overview, benefits, challenges, and salaries of social work specialty positions.

NASW Press Publications

Careers in Social Work
Social work is an excellent career choice for those who care about human dignity and social justice. This popular booklet describes the diversity of career options in detail and provides information about specific areas of social work, including aging, child welfare, health care social work, justice and corrections, mental health, policy and planning, international social work, and much more.

Baccalaureate Social Workers
Equipped with Skills, Knowledge, and Values Essential in Social Work Practice
BSW social workers have the knowledge, skills, and value base to work effectively with individuals, families, and communities. This informative brochure describes why employers should value BSWs and what distinguishes the BSW degree from other undergraduate degrees. In addition, it discusses BSW curriculum, field practicum, and legal regulations for BSWs.
Your New Career in Social Work
You’ve Got the Power!
The health and welfare of social workers are as important as the knowledge, skills, and abilities they bring with them to the workplace. In fact, self-care is part of good “practice management.” This concise brochure examines the stress factors affecting social workers and offers guidance on how to balance your professional and personal life to avoid burnout.

What Social Workers Do, 2nd Edition
Margaret Gibelman
A much-awaited sequel to Gibelman’s best-selling book, this second edition provides a panoramic look at social work and offers practical information about the current status of various service areas. It makes extensive use of case studies and demonstrates the connection between what appear to be diverse specializations by highlighting the intersection between practice functions, practice settings, and practice areas.

Code of Ethics
The NASW Code of Ethics is a set of standards for the professional conduct of social workers. All NASW members must affirm their commitment to abide by the Code of Ethics. It is essential for schools of social work and for in-service training for agencies. Now available in English/Spanish language.



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