Social Workers help individuals, families, groups, communities and organizations develop the skills and resources they need to enhance their social functioning and social environments and resolve problems that affect their well-being on an individual or collective basis. They also provide counselling, therapy and referral to other supportive social services. Social Workers may provide services as members of a multidisciplinary team or on a one-on-one basis with the client. The duties performed by Social Workers vary depending on the settings in which they work.
An Exciting Field of Work
In general, Social Workers:
- Provide counselling and therapy to assist clients in developing skills to deal with and resolve their social and personal problems
- Interview clients individually, in families, or in groups, to assess their situation and problems and determine the types of services required
- Plan programs of assistance for clients including referral to agencies that provide financial assistance, legal aid, housing, medical treatment and other services
- Investigate cases of child abuse or neglect and take authorized protective action when necessary
- Work as members on interdisciplinary teams of professionals working with client groups
- Develop or advise on social policy legislation, conduct social research and assist in community development
- Act as advocates for client groups in the community, lobby for solutions to problems directly affecting client groups and develop prevention and intervention programs to meet community needs
- Provide mediation services and psychosocial assessments
- Evaluate the effectiveness of counselling and social programs
- May provide public education and consultation to professionals or groups regarding counselling services, issues and methods
- Social Workers may specialize in fields of practice such as child welfare, family services, corrections, gerontology or addictions
Personal Characteristics / Skills
- Maturity and emotional stability
- Sensitivity to and an understanding of beliefs and values not your own
- Critical thinking skills and good judgment
Education and Training
A Bachelor degree in Social Work is required.
Education program offered in New Brunswick
Social Work education programs are offered in New Brunswick by the following educational institutions
Length of Study / Training
Licence and certification
In New Brunswick, Social Workers must be members of the New Brunswick Association of Social Workers.
Helpful High School Courses
- Social Studies
Employment and Common Working Conditions
Social Workers work in a variety of settings, such as:
- Hospitals and Mental health clinics
- Social service agencies
- Family and child welfare organizations
- Community agencies
- Correctional facilities
- Government social service departments
Working conditions vary widely. Social Workers often must divide their time between face-to-face contact with clients, and completing assessments, case studies/plans and reports.
Working hours depends on the work setting. Some Social Workers may work normal office hours while others may work shift including evening or weekend.
Employment Prospects - Very GOOD
With the aging population, the demand is expected to grow in this field.