Five reasons why we need more social workers in our society
We live in times of great technological progress and social change. And yet, in many ways, the more things change the more they stay the same.
Social injustices still occur. Conflict, violence, and abuse are still rampant. And disadvantaged communities still struggle to survive.
In this era of prosperity, countless millions of people around the world suffer from issues that are largely preventable through education and social reform. You can make a difference by becoming a social worker. Here are our top five reasons why we need more social workers in our society.
1) Human rights abuses continue to this day
The fight for basic human rights is far from over. Many people still suffer from human rights abuses, and this is where social workers can make a valid contribution. You may choose to make a difference in the prison system, juvenile court, or any number of organizations that work with minorities.
Of course, to pursue a career as a social worker, you need the right credentials, like an MSW (Master of Social Work) degree. While a Bachelor’s degree is enough to get you started, a higher qualification will put you on the path to a higher position where you can achieve more.
Is an MSW degree hard to attain? Yes. All Master’s Degrees will require you to meet qualifying criteria and will entail challenging coursework. But the hard work is worth it. With a Master’s Degree in social work, you’ll be able to make a real difference in people’s lives.
2) The poor are most at risk
Social workers are dealing with the most vulnerable members of society on a day-to-day basis. And they realize that the poor are most at risk of developing other issues such as substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental health issues.
Unfortunately, poverty is still a reality for millions of Americans, and the same holds true across the world. And if you feel this deeply, and have empathy for their plight, it’s a sign that you’d make a good social worker. Empathy is one of the most important qualities in social work.
By working with impoverished members of society, you can lower the risk of them developing other social problems. To stop the cycle of abuse, crime, and drug or alcohol addiction, the solution is clear. Address the issues that gave rise to these social ills. Often, the primary cause is poverty or a lack of education.
3) Policy reforms are greatly needed
The most effective way of addressing social ills and human rights abuses is, of course, through policy reform. And while you may think that a social worker has no direct influence on laws and policies, you’d be mistaken.
For years, social workers have improved policies such as in the civil rights movement. They were also instrumental in the implementation of affordable healthcare programs like Medicaid. These reforms had a direct influence on the quality of life of many living below the poverty line.
But revisions of the laws of our society continue to be necessary, so social workers continue to fight for the rights of the less fortunate. Policy reforms that lessen the burden on low-income households, and that offer greater protection against domestic abuse, are still very much needed.
4) The fight for equality is far from over
The unemployed and low-income groups are not the only ones facing hardships. Even amongst the employed members of society, there is still gross inequality. This is more prevalent in certain sectors, but the fact remains, workplace inequality is still a struggle faced by many.
There are several top career options for social workers. Many of these allow you to tackle the issue of inequality at the root level. Gender inequality is one of the main, but not the only, forms of inequality. Often, they are related to each other, and the solution requires a multi-pronged approach.
If you wish to work towards women’s equality, aim for a position in a women’s community clinic or shelter for victims of domestic abuse. Children’s rights are best dealt with in a school, or the foster care system. Racial inequality can be addressed through a position in community clinics in minority areas, or at refugee centers.
5) Modern causes of stress
Social workers help people to deal with stressful situations by looking for solutions to homelessness, poverty, and social injustice that cause stress. Studies have shown that people find life far more stressful now than in the 20th century. And that means they’ll need to find ways to cope with it.
This means that the need for qualified social workers is growing. And the statistics and projected figures supplied by the government support this stance. According to the US Bureau of Labour Statistics, employment opportunities for social workers are projected to grow 9% from 2021 to 2031.
This is more than predicted for other occupations, highlighting a need for more social workers in our society. Becoming a qualified social worker will meet the needs of society more than many other occupations will. And you’ll feel a real sense of achievement, knowing what a difference you can make.