Social Work | Fairfield University (2023)

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Program Overview

Be the Difference

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of all people. Social work is rooted in the core values of service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, and the importance of human relationships.

Social Justice - Equity, Diversity, Inclusion

The master of social work (MSW) at Fairfield University focuses on the promotion of social justice and social change on behalf of individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. Our commitment to anti-racism, anti-oppression, intersectionality and justice is at the core of the curriculum and fieldwork.

Become a Clinical Specialist

Fairfield’s MSW is a clinical specialist program. Clinical social workers have specialized knowledge and skills in the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment and evaluation of emotional, mental, and behavioral health problems. Clinical social workers provide services in a variety of settings including private practice, hospitals, community mental health, primary care, and agencies.

Enrollment Options

Fairfield offers a two-year, full-time and part-time program, and for for graduates of a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited bachelor of social work (BSW) program, the advanced standing accelerated program which enables students to complete the MSW in 3 semesters. Graduates of any accredited CSWE BSW program may apply for advanced standing. Fairfield’s MSW curriculum is offered in a low residency format with hybrid and online courses. The MSW is a widely recognized degree offering students the opportunity, once licensed, to work in a range of social service settings including gerontology, social and human services, veterans services, private practice, hospitals, advocacy and coalition groups, addiction support services, social policy and community organization, and more.

Fully Accredited

Fairfield's MSW program was awarded initial accreditation through 2029 by CSWE. The Commission found that the program was in full compliance with all accreditation standards and educational policies and granted accreditation for eight years.

Learn from an Accomplished Faculty

All faculty members are licensed clinical social workers in the state of Connecticut and maintain national and international recognition in the field through published works, research presentations, and service on numerous professional, state, and national committees.

FairfieldUniversity Master of Social Work

Applicants for the MSW must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent) and give promise of meeting the standards set by the School.

Students may apply for full-time or part-time study

The application deadlines are:

Advanced Standing(these are students with a BSW that complete an accelerated program in 3 semesters - summer-fall-spring):

Priority Deadline: February 15
Final Deadline: April 15

Two-Year Program (for those with a bachelor's degree in an area other than social work). Full-time and part-time plans of study enable the student to adapt their schedule and earn the degree in two to four years.

Priority Deadline: May 15
Final Deadline: August 1

Form AS 4 (M) Outcome Data (PDF)

Curriculum

The master of social work clinical specialist is a two-year, full-time 60-credit program that requires students to complete 900 hours of field experience. Graduates of accredited bachelor of social work (BSW) programs are eligible for advanced standing, which enables them to complete a 45-credit curriculum and field experience on a full-time basis in three semesters including 650 hours of field experience. Students in both the two-year and advanced standing programs move through the program as a cohort.

All students in the foundational first year of the MSW program are required to take the same ten courses. Eight of the ten foundational courses are academic courses and two are supervised field internships. The ten required foundational courses are distributed as follows:

One (1) course in social welfare policy
Two (2) courses in lifespan human behavior in the social environment theory
Two (2) courses in foundations of generalist social work practice
One (1) course in diversity, oppression, and cultural influences in social work practice
One (1) course in methods of empirical research
One (1) elective
A foundational year of supervised field internship

In the advanced standing program all students must complete 10 courses, two of which are advanced clinical supervised field internships. The second-year courses are distributed as follows:

Two (2) courses in advanced clinical skills
One (2) course in clinical assessment and diagnosis from a social work perspective
One (1) course in social justice, diversity, and ethical professional practice in clinical social work practice
One (1) course in advanced social work research and program evaluation
One advanced clinical course (1) in Narrative and Solution Focused Therapies
One (1) elective
One (1) year of advanced clinical supervised field internship
Fall Year 1Spring Year 1
Human Behavior and the Social EnvironmentLifespan and Human Development
Social Policy and PracticeElective
Social Justice and Diversity in Professional PracticeResearch Methods in Social Work I
Generalist Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations and Communities IGeneralist Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, Groups, Organizations and Communities II
Social Work Fieldwork ISocial Work Fieldwork II
Fall Year 2Spring Year 2
Narrative and Solution Focused TherapyAdvanced Social Justice, Diversity and Ethical Professional Practice in Clinical Social Work
Assessment Techniques and Psychopathology IAssessment Techniques and Psychopathology II
Advanced Clinical Skills and Practice IAdvanced Clinical Skills and Practice II
Advanced Social Work Research and Program EvaluationElective
Advanced Clinical Fieldwork IAdvanced Clinical Fieldwork II
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Advanced Standing

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Advanced Standing

Graduates of a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited undergraduate social work program, who have graduated within the past six years, may apply and be admitted into the specialized practice year (second year) of the two-year program. Students who enter with advanced standing will complete 45 credits to receive the MSW clinical specialist rather than the 60-hour two-year program. The period of study for this option is three semesters: summer, fall, and spring; this includes 650 hours of field instruction.

Students admitted for advanced standing will begin in the summer, are enrolled on a full-time basis, and move through the program as a cohort. BSW degree must be conferred prior to the beginning of the advanced standing summer session. Applicants for advanced standing will apply in their senior year. The advanced standing curriculum does not duplicate any courses or content areas already mastered in the accredited BSW program.

SummerFallSpring
Social Justice and Diversity in Professional PracticeNarrative and Solution Focused TherapyAdvanced Social Justice, Diversity and Ethical Professional Practice in Clinical Social Work
Research Methods in Social Work IAssessment Techniques and Psychopathology IAssessment Techniques and Psychopathology II
Lifespan Human DevelopmentAdvanced Clinical Skills and Practice I
Motivational Interviewing I
Advanced Clinical Skills and Practice II
Motivational Interviewing II
ElectiveElectiveAdvanced Social Work Research and Program Evaluation
Social Work Fieldwork IIAdvanced Clinical Fieldwork IAdvanced Clinical Fieldwork II
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Field Experience

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Field Experience

Graduates of a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited undergraduate social work program, who have graduated within the past six years, may apply and be admitted into the specialized practice year (second year) of the two-year program. Students who enter with advanced standing will complete 45 credits to receive the MSW clinical specialist rather than the 60-hour two-year program. The period of study for this option is three semesters: summer, fall, and spring; this includes 650 hours of field instruction.

Students admitted for advanced standing will begin in the summer, are enrolled on a full-time basis, and move through the program as a cohort. BSW degree must be conferred prior to the beginning of the advanced standing summer session. Applicants for advanced standing will apply in their senior year. The advanced standing curriculum does not duplicate any courses or content areas already mastered in the accredited BSW program.

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Admission

The admission process is rigorous and enables the MSW faculty to assess candidates based on established criteria, which are indicative of success in the program and suitability for entry into fieldwork prior to acceptance.

Applicants for the master of social work clinical specialist must hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university (or the international equivalent) and give promise of meeting the standards set by the School. Students are admitted to the MSW program annually.

Applications for the MSW program will be accepted on a rolling basis.

How to Apply

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Financial Aid

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Message From the Director

Read the Message

Message From the Director

Dear Prospective Students,

Clinical social work is a distinct mental health discipline that is regulated by licensure in the state of Connecticut. The MSW clinical specialist program builds on core social work values and professional ethics. The focus of clinical social work practice is the professional use of self from a person-in-environment perspective to initiate change, and aid in the amelioration of the complex problems of individuals, couples, families, and groups, using critical assessment and intervention to accomplish mutually agreed-on goals and objectives that advance in practice, personal, social, economic, and environmental justice.

Social work education strives to educate and train future practitioners in the fundamental dimensions of the practice — to think, perform, and act ethically with integrity. The purpose of field education is to integrate the theoretical and conceptual classroom education with the practical skills necessary for effective practice. MSW students are therefore engaged in fieldwork throughout the program. The program has contractual relationships with numerous and diverse placement sites in the greater Fairfield and New Haven counties as well as other neighboring communities.

The MSW program offers a unique interprofessional curriculum that provides opportunities to learn, serve, and practice with students in social work and inter-professionally, and with students in marriage and family therapy, professional counseling and school psychology. The interprofessional curriculum provides students with intentional opportunities to learn together and conduct research on important clinical and social issues. Students across theSchool of Education and Human Development will have the experience of working in teams using innovative approaches to addressing real life problems.

MSW students graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Social Work Education (CSWE). The coursework and fieldwork therefore prepares the graduate to pursue Connecticut State licensure, as a licensed master of social work (LMSW) and subsequently, the license in clinical social work (LCSW).

If you are passionate and highly committed to working with a diverse clientele and advancing respect for diversity, human rights, and social, economic, and environmental justice, the MSW program will enable you to obtain the credentials essential to establishing a rewarding career as a clinical social worker. As you explore our website further, please contact me by email if you have any questions or would like to schedule a meeting.

Dr. Rona Preli
MSW Program Director

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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Diversity and Inclusive Excellence

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As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Fairfield is dedicated to diversity and inclusion; to radical hospitality in service of racial, social, and economic justice.

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Fairfield’s Bachelor Of Social Work (BSW)

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Fairfield’s Bachelor Of Social Work (BSW)

Graduates of Fairfield’s BSW program who qualify are encouraged to apply for advanced standing. Candidates should contact the School of Education and Human Development Dean’s Office to learn more.

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Concentration in Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health

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Concentration in Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health

Social Work students may elect a concentration in Sexual and Gender Minority Mental Health. This concentration is the first of its kind, offered entirely online, and focuses on the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ people and families.

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Career & Professional Opportunities

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Career & Professional Opportunities

Employment opportunities for social workers are on the rise in the state of Connecticut and nationally. Licensed social workers may be employed in a wide variety of settings, including:

  • Gerontology (Aging)
  • Public welfare
  • Child welfare
  • Justice and corrections
  • School social work
  • Substance abuse
  • Mental health and psychiatric social work
  • Employment/occupational social work
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Community organization
  • Health and clinical social work
  • Management/administration
  • International social work
  • Research
  • Politics
  • Policy and planning
  • Adoption and foster care agencies
  • Private practice
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Advocacy and coalition groups
  • Domestic violence agencies
  • Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers
  • Nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities
  • Homelessness and hunger advocacy networks
  • Women’s shelters
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Military/veterans counseling services
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Senior centers
  • Social and human services centers
  • Palliative and hospice care

Learn more about how the University's Career Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.

Visit the Career Center
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Faculty

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Faculty

Our caring and committed faculty offer a rigorous course of study, with a broad range of courses that integrate critical reflection, extensive field experience, and the most current research in the field of Social Work.

Meet the Faculty

Frequently Asked Questions

When you are ready to apply, you can create an online application. Please plan to spend about 10 - 15 minutes completing the application. You can create the application and return to the platform in the future to submit it if you require additional time. You should be prepared to answer a series of questions pertaining to your biographical information, program of interest, and educational/ work background. Additionally, you will be required to enter the names and contact information for two references. As part of the application process, you will be required to submit all official college transcripts (sent directly from your institutions), two recommendations (submitted directly from your references who will receive a unique email link), a personal statement, resume, and test scores (required for programs leading to state certification). Please note, you may submit the online application prior to submitting the required supplemental materials. For any questions about the online application please contact Fairfield University Graduate Admission.

Employment opportunities for social workers are on the rise in the state of Connecticut and nationally. A master of social work (MSW) from an accredited Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is mandatory to become licensed. Once licensed, both the employment settings and job opportunities expand exponentially. Licensed social workers—in contrast to those with only a BSW—are employed in all of the following settings:

  • Gerontology (Aging)
  • Public welfare
  • Child welfare
  • Justice and corrections
  • School social work
  • Substance abuse
  • Mental health and psychiatric social work
  • Employment/occupational social work
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Community organization
  • Health and clinical social work
  • Management/administration
  • International social work
  • Research
  • Politics
  • Policy and planning
  • Adoption and foster care agencies
  • Private practice
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Advocacy and coalition groups
  • Domestic violence agencies
  • Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers
  • Nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities
  • Homelessness and hunger advocacy networks
  • Women’s shelters
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Military/veterans counseling services
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Senior centers
  • Social and human services centers
  • Palliative and hospice care

Professional social work is a distinct mental health discipline with a body of research, values, principles, and techniques that are focused on enhancing human well-being, ameliorating discrimination, injustice, oppression, poverty, and promoting social justice and social change. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is the professional organization, whose mission is to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, create and maintain professional standards and code of ethics, and advance sound social policies. The MSW degree from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) is a requirement for licensure.

The MSW program at Fairfield University is a clinical specialty program. As defined by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), clinical social work is:

A specialty practice area of social work, which focuses on the assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental illness, and emotional and other behavioral disturbances.
(https://www.socialworkers.org)

The state of Connecticut (Chapter 383b; Section 20-195m) specifies in the Connecticut General Statutes, that "clinical social work" is:

The application, by persons trained in social work, of established principles of psychosocial development, behavior, psychopathology, unconscious motivation, interpersonal relationships and environmental stress to the evaluation, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of biopsychosocial dysfunction, disability and impairment, including mental, emotional, behavioral, developmental and addictive disorders, of individuals, couples, families, or groups. Clinical social work includes, but is not limited to, counseling, psychotherapy, behavior modification, and mental health consultation.

Social work is among several mental health disciplines where practitioners are licensed for independent clinical practice at the master’s level. Marriage and family therapy, and professional counseling are among those disciplines. Each profession has a distinct professional organization, code of ethics, methods, conceptual approaches and practice techniques, and parameters or scope of practice that define their professional discipline.

The Connecticut programs that are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), are comparable in their rigor and quality. Each program, though, has its unique emphasis or area(s) of specialization. The MSW at Fairfield University is a clinical specialist program. Students have advanced education, training, and supervision, and develop competence in the provision of therapy to individuals, couples, families, and groups. Students receive in-depth exposure to the models of Motivational Interviewing and Narrative and Solution-Focused Therapy. The MSW program is a low residency program. The academic coursework is offered in a hybrid format (online component coupled with campus-based seminars) that does not require students to be on campus during the traditional workday.

Fairfield University was awarded initial accreditation through 2029 by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and all students admitted to the two-year or advanced standing program will graduate from a fully vested CSWE accredited program.

Founded in 1952, the CSWE is the national association representing social work education in the United States. Its members include over 800 accredited baccalaureate and master’s degree social work programs, as well as individual social work educators, practitioners, and agencies dedicated to advancing quality social work education. Through its many initiatives, activities, and centers, CSWE supports quality social work education and provides opportunities for leadership and professional development, so that social workers play a central role in achieving the profession’s goals of social and economic justice. CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting agency for social work education in the United States and its territories.

The MSW program is completed in two to four years depending on whether the student elects a part-time or a full-time course of study. Full-time students move through the program as a cohort and take five courses (15 credits) each semester for four semesters. Part-time programs of student may be completed within 3-4 years.

Students who graduate from a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited bachelor of social work program are admitted as advanced standing. The period of study for the advanced standing option is three semesters: summer, fall, and spring, including 650 hours of field instruction. Students admitted for advanced standing will begin in the summer.

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The program can be completed on either a part-time or full-time basis. Full-time study enables the student to complete the program in 2 years. Part-time study enables the flexibility fo complete the program in 3 - 4 years.

Licensing of social work practitioners is under the authority of a designated office in each individual state. All 50 states and the District of Columbia require that a social worker sitting for a licensing exam be a graduate of a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited program. Please visit the Association of Social Work Boards to find state-specific contact information for Social Work Regulatory Boards and Colleges.

There are two types or levels of licensed social workers in Connecticut. The licensed master social worker (LMSW) is the entry-level licensure, and the licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) is the independent practice license.

Master Level Social Worker (LMSW)

According to the Practice Act in Connecticut state law, the LMSW may practice clinical social work only under the supervision of a licensed individual, such as a clinical social worker. The person with an LMSW may also provide a mental health diagnosis only if this diagnosis is provided in consultation with a physician, or other licensed professional designated by state law. A person with an LMSW may not be in private practice. To receive this social work license, the individual must have at least a master of social work (MSW) degree and pass the national examination.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

To practice social work at the clinical level, an individual must have an MSW or a doctorate, and experience in social work as well as supervised clinical experience.

To apply for the LCSW, the candidate needs to acquire experience in social work. A minimum of 3,000 hours of documented, post-master’s experience in social work is required by the Department of Public Health. A minimum of 100 hours of documented, supervised experience by a licensed clinical or certified independent social worker is also required.

Graduates of a Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredited undergraduate social work program, who graduated within the past six years, may apply to be admitted into the specialized practice year (second year) of the two-year program. Students who enter with advanced standing will complete 45 credits to receive the master of social work (MSW) clinical specialist degree rather than the 60-hour, two-year program.

The period of study for advanced standing is three semesters: summer, fall, and spring, including 650 hours of field instruction. Students admitted for advanced standing will begin in the summer, are enrolled on a full-time basis, and move through the program as a cohort. The bachelor of social work (BSW) degree must be conferred prior to the beginning of the advanced standing summer session. Applicants for advanced standing will apply in their senior year. The advanced standing curriculum does not duplicate any courses or content areas already mastered in the accredited BSW program.

BSW applicants that hold an international degree must verify that their social work credentials are comparable to those of accredited BSW programs in the United States. Candidates are required to obtain verification from the International Social Work Degree Recognition and Evaluation Service.

The minimum qualifications for advanced standing include:

  • Undergraduate BSW degree conferred from a CSWE accredited program
  • Overall GPA of 2.67 or higher
  • Completion of the BSW degree was within the last six years

Students are placed in agency or institutional settings that have contractual arrangements with the Department of Family Therapy and Social Work. Each student is placed with a field instructor who provides on-site supervision. The student also participates in bi-monthly professional supervisory seminars on campus with the faculty supervisor. The bi-monthly field professional supervisory seminars combine readings, discussions, ethical consultations, process recordings, and personal reflection, as a means for students to critically analyze and evaluate practice theories and concepts. Students may not be placed in field sites in which they are employed.

Students are in the field placement 16 hours per week and accrue 450 hours of field experience in the first year and 450 hours of specialized clinical practice experience in the second year, totaling 900 field experience hours.

First year placements begin in mid-September, following orientation conducted by the master of social work (MSW) clinical director, and end in May.

In the second year, students are placed in clinical settings where they provide therapy to individuals, couples, families, and groups. Students apply clinical models and interventions in their work with clients of all ages.

Advanced standing students will complete 650 hours of field experience over the course of three semesters. Advanced standing students begin their advanced clinical field placements in May for one year.

The master of social work (MSW) is a low residency program. Courses are offered partially or fully online with some face-to-face seminar requirements. On-site fieldwork is required 16 hours per week. Students in the MSW program may be able to work, if their jobs offer sufficient flexibility to participate in the required seminars, and are able to complete their field placements. Employment is not an excuse for absence from required seminars or fieldwork.

Professional staff from the Office of Financial Aid is available to work individually with students to help explore options of financing their education. Some of the financial options that may be available are detailed below.

Loan Programs
Under the federal program, graduate students may apply for up to $20,500 per academic year in federal student loans, depending on their educational costs and eligibility. In addition, there are several alternative, credit-based loans to help with financing.

Graduate Assistantships
A limited number of part and full-time graduate assistantships are available across campus. Graduate assistantships typically provide a minimum of 10 hours a week of employment at Fairfield University to offset tuition costs. Graduate assistants provide services such as administrative support, research, and faculty support. In return, selected students may be eligible to receive a tuition waiver, and in some cases, a stipend.

Many graduate departments and programs at Fairfield University offer assistantships to their graduate students. Students should contact the Office of the Dean in the School of Education and Human Development for current information and opportunities concerning assistantships. The availability of graduate assistantships varies by department, semester, and academic year.

Several MSW courses are offered online. As this is an advanced clinical degree, to ensure high quality, intensive clinical training, several courses are hybrid (online and in-person seminars) and therefore have a low residency component. Students are required to participate in 10 seminar hours which take place over several long weekends. All fieldwork requires students be present on-site and be engaged in clinical social work practice. Fieldwork is fundamental to social work education and training, and provides the opportunity for students to integrate the theoretical and conceptual learning in the classroom with clinical practice. Field experiences enable students to gain clinical competency, while providing clinical services to clients and communities in need.

The advanced practice clinical specialist is a particularly desirable area of specialization. Many social workers will seek to engage in private clinical practice; therefore a bachelor of social work (BSW) generalist degree provides little opportunity to develop clinical skills and expertise as a therapist. Private practice is a growing field and clinicians in private practice are earning substantially more than those in agencies and social service settings. The focused training and supervision of this program enables the graduate to have competency as a therapist.

Clinical social workers have specialized knowledge and skills in the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of emotional, mental, and behavioral health problems. Clinical social work builds on professional values, ethics, principles, practice methods, and the person-in-environment perspective of the profession. It reflects the profession’s mission to promote social and economic justice on behalf of clients who experience oppression or vulnerability. Clinical social work requires the professional use of self to restore, maintain, and enhance the biological, psychological, social, and spiritual functioning of individuals, families, and groups. The practice of clinical social work requires the application of advanced clinical knowledge and clinical skills in multidimensional assessment, diagnosis, and treatment.

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FAQs

What degree is best for a social worker? ›

Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) With the bachelor of social work (BSW), you will be qualified for entry level positions in areas such as mental heath, aging services, or residential treatment. You will need an MSW to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

What is Social Work at university? ›

What is social work? Social work is a demanding, crucial, and rewarding profession. Behind every community is a dedicated social worker who supports families in need of assistance, helping with everything from mental health to emotional challenges, to financial aid.

Which universities offers Social Work? ›

There are many institutions in South Africa that offer Social Work courses in South Africa which include the University of Cape Town, Unisa, University of Johannesburg, University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch University but there are also a few colleges that offer social worker courses.

How long does it take to become a social worker in university? ›

Social Work The BA Social Work is a four-year professional degree programme. Social workers work in various fields of service such as community development, child protection, child and family welfare, youth programmes, disability, health, education, the workplace, and social policy development.

Is social work hard to study? ›

Social work is a challenging career in many ways – emotionally, mentally and often physically. The education required to attain this career is easy in some ways but difficult in other ways.

What requirements are needed to study social worker? ›

The admission requirements to the Bachelor of Social Work programme are: An endorsed National Senior Certificate (NSC) issued by the South African Certification Council. Your matric certificate should indicate that you qualify for admission to a bachelor's degree. A minimum AP score of 30.

Is social work hard in university? ›

Yes, earning a master's in social work is demanding. It's also rewarding, not in spite of, but because of its level of difficulty. A social work master's program will challenge you in ways that prepare you for the challenges of daily life as an effective, fulfilled professional social worker.

Is Social Work a good career? ›

Social work is a rapidly growing field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, by 2030, demand for social workers is expected to increase by 12 percent, which is faster than most other occupations. However, the potential availability of jobs is only one of the many reasons to be a social worker.

Should I study social work? ›

You will learn how to make a positive impact

Social Work is all about understanding and striving to improve the lives of people in society. Social Workers listen to people's needs, from young children to people struggling with addictions, and help them to cope and improve their quality of life.

What type of social worker is highest paid? ›

What Field of Social Work Pays the Most? Social workers tend to earn the most working for the federal government. Federal social workers help guide research and develop social services, healthcare, and education policies. They earn median annual salaries of $82,490, as of May 2020, according to the BLS.

What is the highest paying job in social work? ›

5 Highest-Paying Jobs in Social Work
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Manager – Median Salary: $80,200.
  • Social Policy Analyst – Median Salary: $74,700.
  • Medical Social Worker – Median Salary: $65,300.
  • Child and Family Therapist – Median Salary: $63,000.
  • Human Resources Coordinator/Specialist – Median Salary: $48,300.

What is the easiest job in social work? ›

Most of these jobs are highly flexible as well and can be used as stepping stones to better-paying positions in the field.
  1. Group Home Workers. Some of the most popular entry-level jobs in social work are positions in group homes. ...
  2. Substance Abuse Counselors. ...
  3. Community Social Workers. ...
  4. Healthcare Social Workers. ...
  5. Case Managers.

Do I need math to be a social worker? ›

Social workers need to understand several mathematical concepts to monitor and analyze data. Statistics and probability courses provide a foundation for understanding everything from the prevalence of a disease to the likelihood a client can benefit from a rehabilitation program.

Can you become a social worker without going to university? ›

Can I get into social work without a degree? You cannot become a social worker without an approved qualification – a BA degree or postgraduate masters in social work. However, you may be able to find a job as a social work assistant without a degree.

Can you get a social work degree in 3 years? ›

A Master of Social Work can take anywhere from one year to four years to complete—it all depends on the school and your enrollment status. If you are eligible for an advanced standing program, it could take up to one year. The advanced standing track is for people who have completed a BSW program.

Is there a lot of math in social work? ›

Although you probably won't need to complete advanced math classes, students interested in social work will still need to take minimal math courses needed to fulfill their college's general education requirements as well as certain math-related coursework that helps to develop their quantitative and analytical skills.

What are the 10 roles of social worker? ›

Responsibilities of a Social Worker
  • Assess Your Client. ...
  • Create and Implement A Treatment Plan. ...
  • Secure and Refer Needed Resources. ...
  • Evaluate and Monitor Improvement. ...
  • Serve as a Client's Advocate. ...
  • An Overview of the Social Work Profession. ...
  • Make More Than a Difference. ...
  • References.

What are the subjects of social work? ›

Bachelor of Science in Social Work (Since 1970)
  • Casework practice.
  • Group work practice.
  • Community Organization.
  • Program Management and Administration.
  • Social Work Supervision.
  • Social Research.
  • Awareness of Social Legislation.
  • Advocacy and Leadership Skills.

Where is the best place to study social work? ›

The United States is the best country to study social work because it has some of the top programs in the world.
...
Top Universities:
  • University of California Berkeley.
  • University of Washington.
  • University of Texas Austin.

What is the hardest thing about being a social worker? ›

Among the hardest things about working as a social worker are factors like the emotional stress that comes with seeing the extremes of injustice and abuse, the challenge of working with vulnerable and marginalized client populations, the stress and physical injuries that often accompany the job and the inability to fix ...

How much do social workers make? ›

Find out what the average Social Worker salary is

The average social worker salary in Ireland is € 40 173 per year or € 20.60 per hour. Entry-level positions start at € 34 000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to € 56 550 per year.

Is social worker a stressful job? ›

Social workers have one of the highest risk jobs for chronic stress and burnout among healthcare professionals, especially when workloads are high and they don't feel valued.

Can social workers earn a lot? ›

Many Social Workers within local authorities can go on to earn more than £40,000 a year with enough experience and further qualifications.

What are the disadvantages of being a social worker? ›

List of cons of being a social worker
  • Long / Irregular Hours. Social workers typically do not have a 9-5 schedule. ...
  • Risk of Compassion Fatigue. ...
  • High Workload. ...
  • You Might Be Seen As “The Enemy” ...
  • You will need to be your own Therapist more often than not. ...
  • The Learning Never Ends. ...
  • Corporate Changes.
9 Feb 2021

Do social workers earn well? ›

The average social worker salary in India is approximately rupees 20,500 per month and the yearly salary can range from INR 2,00,000 to 6,00,000 LPA depending on the level of expertise, location, particularities, qualification, specialization, etc.

Is social work in demand? ›

Jobs in both professions are set to boom, according to Department of Employment figures, with work for skilled counsellors predicted to grow by more than 24 per cent and demand for social workers to rise by 22.5 per cent by 2022.

Where do most social workers work? ›

Work Environment

Social workers are employed in a variety of settings, including child welfare and human service agencies, healthcare providers, and schools. Most work full time, and some work evenings, weekends, and holidays.

What is the difference between a Social Worker and a counselor? ›

Counselors are trained to help clients directly. Social workers may develop the skills to provide psychotherapy but are more likely to help clients and communities find the resources they need to change their circumstances, remove social barriers or influence public policy on a broader scale.

What does a Social Worker do in a hospital? ›

The Role of a Social Worker in a Hospital Setting

Assessing new patients as they are admitted. Providing emotional support or counseling. Developing and implementing a patient's plan of care. Working with agencies or insurance companies to cover costs of treatment and medication.

What are the top 3 industries that employ social workers? ›

The highest paying industries for Social workers, by average wage, are Drugs, sundries, & chemical & allied products merchant wholesalers , Pharmaceutical & medicine manufacturing, and Architectural, engineering & related services.

Which country needs social workers? ›

Countries in need of social workers:

Malaysia. Singapore. Vietnam.

Which social field is best? ›

If you are looking for social science jobs in demand, you will find them on this list of careers.
  1. Political Scientist. ...
  2. Economist. ...
  3. Industrial-Organizational Psychologist. ...
  4. Sociologist. ...
  5. Geographer. ...
  6. Psychologist. ...
  7. Urban and Regional Planner. ...
  8. Historian.

Is there a future in social work? ›

Not all social work jobs grow at the same rate; many are outpacing the industry. For instance, the BLS projects both the child, family, and school and healthcare social work sectors to grow by 13 percent, while mental health and substance abuse social work should grow by 15 percent.

What do most social workers major in? ›

In order to become a social worker, many people will pursue a major in social work to obtain their Bachelor's of Science in Social Work (BSW). Other undergraduate majors such as sociology and psychology will allow you to further your education in order to pursue a Master's of Social Work (MSW).

What is the highest paying field in social work? ›

What Field of Social Work Pays the Most? Social workers tend to earn the most working for the federal government. Federal social workers help guide research and develop social services, healthcare, and education policies. They earn median annual salaries of $82,490, as of May 2020, according to the BLS.

What is the closest major to social work? ›

Another good choice is psychology. This degree helps you prepare for many different career paths in social work. It also provides a strong foundation for an MSW program or other master's degree programs. The psychology major educational requirements help students gain knowledge of human behavior and the mind.

What field of social work makes the most? ›

Mental health and substance-abuse social workers had a median salary of $48,720. Child, family and school social workers had a median salary of $48,430.
...
Hospitals (state, local and private): $57,660
  • Professional, scientific and technical services: $66,760.
  • Religious organizations: $68,960.
  • Junior colleges: $70,810.

Is social work major worth it? ›

However, even if you don't want to go to graduate school, a bachelor's degree in social work is definitely a worthwhile achievement. Even without a master's degree, a bachelor's degree can enable you to pursue a range of worthwhile careers, particularly in the human services field.

Is social work a good career? ›

The employment need for a social worker is expected to grow faster than the average occupation. And, it is one of the most flexible careers today. According to the Bureau of labor statistics, the job outlook for social workers is expected to increase by 12 percent from 2020 to 2030.

How can I start social work? ›

To start a career in social work, you will first have to pursue your bachelor's degree in Social Work, followed by a master's. However, holding a bachelor's in Social Work is not a necessary condition, and you can go for a master's in the field even if you have graduated in any other subject for your bachelor's.

Do social workers earn a lot of money? ›

Broadly speaking, the average salary for a Social Worker is around £30,000 a year.

Is social work high in demand? ›

Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 9 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

Should I major in sociology or social work? ›

Whether you decide on a career in social work or sociology is entirely up to you and should be based on your preferred focus. Sociology may be a good fit if you are looking for a research-heavy career, while social work may be right for those who want to work directly with clients.

What other jobs are social workers good at? ›

What can I do with my degree in Social Work?
  • Social Worker. ...
  • Care Home Manager. ...
  • Education Welfare Officer. ...
  • Family Support Worker. ...
  • Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner. ...
  • Probation Officer. ...
  • Youth Offending Team Officer. ...
  • Advice Worker.
5 Feb 2021

Where is the best place to be a social worker? ›

This guide outlines the best states for social workers by geographic region and occupation.
...
Top-Paying Areas for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers.
LocationEmploymentAverage Annual Salary
District of Columbia630$66,080
California14,970$65,020
Connecticut1,920$64,590
New York11,540$63,520
1 more row
17 Aug 2020

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