Unlike macro-level social work careers that deal with issues involving entire populations, careers in micro-level social work address issues through individual or small group contact. For social work graduates who would like to obtain a micro-level position, there are many great careers for them to choose from. While the list of these options is a bit extensive, the five careers described below are certainly worth considering.
Substance Abuse Counselor
Micro-level social work careers that involve helping people overcome addictions to alcohol and drugs are known as substance abuse counselors. Also known as drug and alcohol specialists, substance abuse counselors are employed by such places as treatment centers, rehabilitation facilities, prisons, and juvenile detention centers. Common tasks of these professionals include interviewing clients, creating treatment plans, conducting therapy sessions, and administering drug tests.
School Social Worker
Careers in micro-level social work that require direct interaction with school children are known as school social workers. The main goal of school social workers is to identify any behavioral, emotional, or social problems that may be interfering with a child's learning process. After identifying any potential problems, they then devise possible solutions and discuss these solutions with the child's parents, teachers, and school administrators.
Child Welfare Worker
Child welfare workers are those persons who investigate allegations of child abuse or neglect and place children in temporary homes if necessary. They also work closely with parents to correct any issues associated with parenting or providing a proper environment for their children. Careers in this field are in moderate demand, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean salary for child welfare workers is $42,300 per year.
Careers in micro-level social work that educate parents on the subject of proper parenting are known as parenting instructors, or parenting educators. While some parents often choose to take parenting classes on their own accord, many parents are directed to take such classes to fulfill the requirements resulting from child abuse or neglect cases. Parenting instructors can work independently but most often are employed by community service agencies, private and public schools, and adoption agencies.
Support Group Counselors
Support groups permit small groups of people suffering from the same issue to talk to each other about whatever may be bothering them. These types of groups are highly beneficial to members as they realize that they are not alone. Support groups also often help members find solutions to issues that have been troubling them. Support group counselors direct these groups and work to keep them focused. Grads who choose these micro-level social work careers should ideally be highly empathetic and possess excellent communication skills.
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Social work students who would like to work closely with individuals or small groups should consider a position in micro-level social work. There are many satisfying careers in micro-level social work available today, and five of the most popular careers are described above.