Fields in Social Work
Chapter 6
• The SW profession gives the worker the opportunity
to work in a wide range population without
specialized credentials
• Each setting in SW uses the same basic foundation
of knowledge and skills to aid the change process.
• SWs must be aware of the wide array of community
service to enable their clientele to receive services
with minimal barriers.
• Certain field do need increased knowledge and
understand of that populations needs.
• Field of Social Work practice is used to describe a
group of practice settings that deal with similar clients
Aging Population
• The aging population is about 12% of our current
population. This is expected to double over the next
30 years. The increase is due to medical technology,
baby boomers…
• Women are 70% of this population
• Most SWers working with this population are basic
level S Wers.
• Services are:
Medical availability assistance
Alternative housing, ALF
End of life concerns
Referrals to Hospice if terminal
Social Work and Aging
Alcohol and Substance Abuse
• Few SWers are directly employed in Drug/alcohol programs.
However, these concerns effect every population.
• 9-12 million inds in US are alcoholics or drug users. There is
high correlation of abuse with murders, suicides, health
problems, and domestic abuse.
• Lawson and Lawson has identified 3 factors that SWers and
other professions working with this population must be aware of
to aid in treatment and prevention
• 1 Physiological Factors- physical addiction, biological
• 2 Sociological Factors- cultural differences
• 3 psychological Factors- social skill, self-image…
Alcohol and Drug Counselor
Child Welfare
• Historically in our society it has been our
understanding that government does not get
involved in child rearing. It is the full
responsibility of the parents and families to
make decisions for their children. However, if
a child is at risk of harm government steps in
to assure safety.
• SWers provide a wide array of service to
parents and families at risk among these are:
Support services, counseling, education,
referral services…
Child Welfare
• Protective Services• 825,000 case of maltreatment occurs in the US
each year.
56% is classified as neglect
21% is Physical abuse
11% is sexual
8% psychological and emotional abuse
The rest is unclassified
SWers work with these family to ensure safety. The
objective is to keep the family together; however, if
founded the children are removed and the SWers
cont to work with the family to gain service and
reach family towards reunification.
Grey’s anatomy Child
Child Welfare
• Foster Care• If the child is removed they are often placed in
foster care. Even though, the main goal is to keep
the family together there were 588,000 children in
foster care in 2000.
• SWers are often responsible for Foster care
development and home quality. Thur, training,
recruiting, monitoring…
• Aids in behavior concerns with children placed in
the home.
Child Welfare
• Residential care• Some children cannot maintain in Foster
home or there are not homes available.
• SWers are responsible for finding
• Also, SWers are often employees at these
facilities to aid in care of child (therapy,
behavior intervention, family counseling…).
Child Welfare
• Adoption and service to unmarried parents• Swers work with unmarried mother’s on decision
making regarding their pregnancy. 35% of children
are born to unmarried parents. This often leads to
problems with care down the road. All these
things must be considered in the decision making
• If adoption is decided then SWer aid in matching
• Also, SWers work to place older children who are
very difficult to place.
Neighbor Work
• 3 forms to assist the community on meeting
the population needs:
• Community Organization: Swers must being
aware of the services in the community and know
how they can best meet the client’s needs.
• Community Planning- SWers sometimes aid in
community planning. The SWer will look at longrange needs of the community.
• Community Development- assist in creating the
services that are needed in the community to
improve the quality of life.
Correctional/Criminal Justice
• A small but important role is in this area.
SWers are often work with probation officers,
in correctional facilities. This field is often
difficult for SWers because it is seen as
punishment which goes against SWers
• SWers will do the following: Social history,
recommendations to the court, counseling,
probation updates, …
• In 2003 there were an est.. 34.3 million inds
experience one or more chronic conditions.
SWers work directly with this population and
their families to increase their quality of life.
• Developmentally Disability- pg 110
• SWers provide the following services; living
arrangements, assist to help alleviate
problems with the disability, public education,
helping inds gain access to services.
Family Services
• SWers work with families a large part of the time. Today's
families have many stressors that create tension and problems
within the family structure.
• There are 3 broad areas Swers provide services to families:
• 1 Counseling services to aid in family functioning
• 2 Solve family problems thur family life education. These
services help family have appropriate coping skills to work
thur family stressors.
• 3 Working with families who have unwanted children and the
many issues to help them make good decisions.
Income Maintenance
• In all SW setting we are often faced with
clients who do not have a sufficient financial
needs to meet their families basic needs. As
SWers we must be aware of community
resources. These services can be a quick
• SWers also need to know the government
programs available to meet needs. Some of
these are SSI, food stamps, TANF, medical…
Medical Social Work
• Initiated in the early 1900.
• SWers work side by side with doctors and
nurses. Today it is one of the largest fields.
• SWers provide an array of services in the
hospital setting: counseling on medication,
linking to services in the community, family
counseling, group counseling…
• SWers also work in other health care settings:
family planning, child growth and
development education, disease and physical
disability services are some.
Mental Health and Illness
• It is est.. that 15% of inds will face an
emotional disturbance within there life.
• This field often requires @ least MSW.
• SWers help inds in these settings by PIE.
• 3 main practice settings
• 1 Outpatient mental health clinics
• 2 Inpatient hospitals
• 3 Private practice
Occupational or Industrial
Social Work
• SWers have been in this field since the
1880’s. There has been an increase with
employers recognizing the need for employee
• 3 areas are outlined by Shank and Jorve
• 1 Employee Service Model: EAP services
counseling for employees
• 2 consumer Service Model: identifying consumer
needs, work to develop outreach programs.
• 3 Corporate Social responsibility Model: SWers
assist corporation in making a commitment to the
social well being of the community. Aids in social
policy, linkage to services and corporate interest.
School Social Work
• School is an important function in a child
social and emotional growth. School Social
Workers help support any concerns that
• SSWers need the corporation of teachers and
families to have an successful outcome.
• SSWers perform the following services:
counseling, referrals, family counseling,
advocates, …
Youth Services
• These services were started to help the
emotional wellbeing of child and families thur
education and recreation.
• Some common programs are
YMCA, Girl and Boy Scouts…
• Activities are intended to help with personal
and social development thur camping,
friendship group, arts, sports…

Fields in Social Work Profession