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101 Careers in Social Work, Second Edition

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101 Careers in Social Work, Second Edition

SKU# 9780826129055

Author: Jessica A. Ritter BSW, MSSW, PhD


  • Halaevalu F.O. Vakalahi PhD

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This is a vital and necessary guide to the social work profession. This book clarifies the social work mission, goals, and objectives, and strengthens and promotes them as well.

óCarmen Ortiz Hendricks, MSW, DSW, ACSW, LCSW

Professor & Dean, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Yeshiva University

The authors do an excellent job of illustrating the uniqueness, diversity, and richness of the profession. I strongly recommend this book for use in social work orientation, advising, and education.

óSaundra Starks, EdD, LCSW, Professor, Western Kentucky University

What do documentary filmmakers, conflict mediators, forensic social workers, researchers, mental health practitioners, human services administrators, medical social workers, and policy advocates have in common? They are all potential careers for social workers. The second edition of this popular guide to social work careers has been completely updated and expanded to reflect current trends in social work education and social work practice, including the employment outlook in various fields of practice, current accreditation standards, core competencies, and licensing requirements, along with new opportunities for social workers resulting from health care reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. With a focus on the interdisciplinary nature of social work, the book describes both traditional careers and those that are off the beaten path in such arenas as forensic social work, social entrepreneurship, working in political systems, international careers, and community practice.

Well organized and written in a conversational tone, each chapter describes a particular social work domain, illustrating specific careers within that field including best features, challenges, required core competencies and skills, and educational and licensing requirements needed to succeed. For each career the book also discusses employment outlook and includes recommended references for more in-depth information. Vivid stories from social workers across the country further help readers to choose a career that is a good fit. Additionally, the book includes updated job-hunting tools and websites, including international opportunities, and ways to offset the high cost of higher education. Questionnaires and self-assessment checklists provide additional fodder to help readers choose a social work career tailored to their unique talents, interests, and passions.

New to the Second Edition:

  • Presents updated accreditation standards, core competencies, and licensing requirements
  • Describes new opportunities for social workers resulting from health care reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
  • Discusses the impact of our current social, economic, and political climate on the profession
  • Includes new career-planning and job-hunting tools
  • Addresses how students can offset the high cost of higher education

Product Details 

  • Publication Date December 05, 2014
  • Page Count 314
  • Product Form Paperback / softback
  • ISBN 13 9780826129055
  • EISBN 9780826129062

About The Author(s) 

Halaevalu F.O. Vakalahi, PhD is Professor and Associate Dean, School of Social Work, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD. Her areas of teaching include human behavior and the social work environment, social policy, organizational leadership, and cultural diversity. Her contribution to the profession and community includes serving in the Council on Social Work Education, National Association of Social Workers, and the Baltimore City Commission on Aging. Her areas of scholarship include Pacific Islander culture and community, specifically in relation to aging and intergenerational transmission of cultural values, beliefs, and practices, and the experiences of women of color in academia. Her publications in these areas of scholarship include numerous peer-reviewed articles, chapters, references, and co-edited-authored books including her most recent work titled Transnational Pacific Islanders and Social Work and The Collective Spirit of Aging across Cultures.

Table of Contents 




1 What Is Social Work?

Separating the Facts From the Fiction

Top 7 Myths About the Social Work Profession

How Is Social Work Different From Other Related Professions/Disciplines?

How Did Social Work Begin?

What Is the Future Outlook for Social Workers?

A Brief History of the Social Work Profession in the United States

2 Got Social Work?

Is Social Work for You?

Benefits of a Career in Social Work

Challenges of a Career in Social Work

The Social Work Oath

An Invitation to You

3 Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Education and Licensure for Social Workers

What Steps Are Involved in Becoming a Professional Social Worker?

What Degree Do I Need to Become a Social Worker?

What Are the Prerequisites for Being Accepted to a Social Work Program?

Who Qualifies as a Social Worker?

What Is the Purpose of Licensing?

What Do I Need to Know About Social Work Licensing?

Is Licensing Really Necessary for the Social Work Profession?

Do All Social Work Jobs Require Getting a License?

If I Am Licensed in One State, Will I Be Able to Use This License in a Different State if I Relocate for a Job?

What Are the Differences Between a License, a Certification, and a Credential?

After Graduation From My University's Social Work Program, Will I Be Able to Obtain a License?

Where Can I Learn More About the Requirements for Social Work Education, Supervision, and Licensing?



4 Careers in Child Welfare

Child Protection Caseworker

Social Worker Spotlight: Jessica A. Ritter, Children's Protective Services

Intake Worker

CPS Investigator

Family Preservation Caseworker

Substitute Care Caseworker

Foster Care and Adoption Caseworker

Careers With Private or Nonprofit Agencies

Careers in Child Welfare Research

Careers With the Government

Child Welfare Advocate

Adoption Social Worker

Social Worker Spotlight: Agnes Zarcaro, Spaulding for Children

Foster Care Social Worker

Emerging Field of Practice: Home Visiting Programs

5 School-Based and School-Linked Services

School Social Worker

Social Worker Spotlight: Magda Flores, School Social Worker

After-School Program Counselor

Day-Care or School Readiness Program Worker

Adult Literacy Program Worker

Special Education Social Service Worker

Social Worker on a College Campus

6 Social Work With Older Adults

Adult Protective Services Caseworker

Social Worker Spotlight: Lori Delagrammatikas, Program Coordinator

Social Work in Adult Day Centers

Residential Care Case Manager

Careers in Psychogeriatrics

Social Work in Hospitals and Other Health Care Settings

Social Worker Spotlight: Sheryl Bruno, Social Work Supervisor

Hospice Social Worker

Social Worker Spotlight: Mary Jane O'Rourke, Hospice and Palliative Care

Home Health Social Worker

Geriatric Case Manager

Social Worker Spotlight: Simon Paquette, Medical Social Worker

Careers in Research and Policy

Careers With the Government

7 Social Work in Health Care

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or "ObamaCare"

Social Work in Hospitals and Other Medical Settings

Social Worker Spotlight: Jacqueline Frausto, Medical Social Worker

Emergency Room Social Worker

Hospice Social Worker

Director of Social Work

Public Health Social Worker

Social Worker Spotlight: Erica Solway, Doctoral Student in Sociology

Rehabilitation Social Worker

Patient Navigator/Patient Advocate

Health Care Policy Specialist

8 Social Work in Mental Health and Addiction

Clinical Social Worker

Social Worker Spotlight: Sue Matorin, Treatment Coordinator

Social Work With Groups

Social Worker Spotlight: Mary Kiernan-Stern, Northern Virginia Cancer Center

Social Work and Substance Abuse Intervention

Social Worker Spotlight: Robert Klekar, Social Work and Substance Abuse

Social Worker Spotlight: Shana Seidenberg, Mental Illness Substance Abuse Coordinator

Employee Assistance Worker

Military Social Worker

Mental Health Advocacy

9 Careers in Crisis Intervention

Careers in Disaster and Emergency Management

Social Worker Spotlight: Brian Rivers, Case Manager/Volunteer Coordinator

Suicide Prevention

Family Violence Counselor

Sexual Assault Counselor

Policy Advocate

Social Worker Spotlight: Cindy Southworth, National Network to End Domestic Violence

10 Careers in Criminal Justice and the Legal Arena

Social Worker Spotlight: Lyn K. Slater, Interdisciplinary Center for Family and Child Advocacy

Probation Officer (Adult or Juvenile Justice System)

Parole Officer

Correctional or Detention Officer

Correctional Treatment Specialist

Juvenile Justice Counselor

Gang Prevention Counselor

Family Court Social Worker

Social Worker Spotlight: Brandy Macaluso, Coalition for Independent Living Options

Licensed Clinical Social Worker (Jails and Prisons)

Victim Services Specialist

Social Worker Spotlight: Marilyn Peterson Armour, Institute for Restorative Justice and Restorative Dialogue

Mediation and Conflict Resolution

Careers in Restorative Justice

Careers in Forensic Social Work

Custody Evaluator

Mental Health Evaluator

Mitigation Specialist

Social Worker Spotlight: Alison Cusick, Intern, Office of the Public Defender

Forensic Social Work in Juvenile Justice

Social Worker Spotlight: Joel T. Andrade, Boston College Graduate School of Social Work

11 Careers in International Social Work and Human Rights

U.S.-Based Immigrant, Refugee, and Asylee Resettlement Worker

Social Worker Spotlight: Marleine Bastien, Founder, Fanm Ayisyen nan Miyami/Haitian Women of Miami

Social Worker Spotlight: Juliane Ramic, Resettling Refugees

Immigration Policy Advocate

Disaster Relief Worker

Social Worker Spotlight: Susan Kosche Vallem, Professor and Chair, Social Work Department, Wartburg College

Human Rights Worker

International Development Worker

Careers With the United Nations/UNICEF

Social Worker Spotlight: Purnima Mane, Deputy Executive Director (Program), UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund

12 Careers in Poverty and Homelessness

Income Assistance Caseworker/Employment Counselor

Social Work Careers in the Field of Homelessness

Careers in Research

Poverty Advocate

Social Worker Spotlight: Kristin Noel Ludwig, Community Action

13 Careers in the Political Arena


Campaign Worker

Social Worker Spotlight: Greg Shufeldt, Political Social Worker

Legislative Aide

Field Organizer

Social Worker Spotlight: Elizabeth Alex, Lead Organizer/Manager

Policy Analyst/Researcher

Advocacy Organization

Legislator or Public Official

Social Worker Spotlight: Representative Elliott Naishtat, Attorney and Texas State Legislator

14 Careers in Community Practice

Community Planner

Social Worker Spotlight: Odis Dolton, Assistant Director for Finance

Community Developer

Social Worker Spotlight: Amy Krings-Barnes, Community Police Partnering Center

Community Organizer

Social Worker Spotlight: Trina Scordo, Senior Organizer

Social Work in Urban Communities

Urban Social Worker Spotlight: Tracy Harris, Family Service Case Manager

Entrepreneurial Social Worker Spotlight: Johnnie Fielding, Cofounder, Leading by Example

Rural Social Worker

15 Leadership in Human Service Organizations


Executive Director

Social Worker Spotlight: Laura Elmore Smith, Executive Director, Crime Prevention Institute

Program Manager

Social Worker Spotlight: Mary Kiernan-Stern, Arlington Hospital

Organizational Consultant

Public Relations/Media Relations

Volunteer Services Director


Social Worker Spotlight: April Kerwin, Director of Stewardship and Planned Giving

Grant Writer

16 Careers in Research and Academia

Social Work Researcher

Social Work Professor

Social Worker Spotlight: Jessica A. Ritter, Director of BSW Program and Associate Professor

Adjunct Faculty/Lecturer

Field Education Director/Coordinator

Director of Special Programs

Program Director/Department Chair/Dean

17 "Out of the Box" Social Work Careers

Dual Degrees


Social Worker Spotlight: Anne Driscoll, Journalist, Author

Documentary Filmmaker

Social Worker Spotlight: Murali D. Nair, Communicating Beyond Print Media


Corporate Consultant

Careers in Human Resources

Social Worker Spotlight: Elaine Charpentier Philippi, Program Manager

Careers in Mediation and Conflict Resolution


Self-Employment/Consulting Careers

Animal-Assisted Social Work

Social Worker Spotlight: Richard B. Joelson, Private Practice

Social Entrepreneur



18 Paying for Your Social Work Education

The Rising Costs of Higher Education

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Conducting a Scholarship Search

Other Methods of Financing Your Education

Social Work Scholarships, Fellowships, and Other Programs

In Sum

19 Job Hunting Tips

Books on Job Hunting

Job Hunting Websites

International Social Work Opportunities

Online Job Hunting

Creating Your Résumé