What Types of Social Work Careers are in Public School?

Working in the field of social work requires you to have a great deal of compassion and dedication to your job. You have a variety of different settings that you can work in, each with a different demographic of clients. What your preference is will help you determine what area of social work you would like to assist in. Many professionals like to work within a social work career in a public school setting. Working with young adults and youth can bring about a lot of change and can be quite rewarding. Let's take a look at some of the social work responsibilities and jobs that are within the public school sector.

Public Health

There is a great demand for social work professionals in the area of public health and the need for this type of care can exist within the school system. The duties of this job can include making sure that students are receiving proper attention and care, especially if they have a medical condition or disability that requires them to have closer attention and monitoring. There is a great deal of paperwork that can sometimes go into this student's education as well as ongoing treatment plans. Decision making typically takes place between the parents, the staff and the social worker on site.

Drug Counseling

While a social worker cannot treat addiction directly, they can serve as a middleman between a medical professional and the family of the patient in need of care. In a school setting, there may be a young adult that is suffering from addiction and is participating in ongoing counseling and care. The social worker that is present will frequently speak with the student as well as their parents and teachers, to make sure everything is moving along as planned. There may also be the need for assistance in the school as a whole, to reduce the prevalence of drugs.

Mental Health

A master's degree in social work is required to provide mental health care but this is a beneficial form of therapy that can work for many students in a school setting. There are often many young adults that deal with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bullying, emotional issues, etc. The job of the social worker is to provide support for the student while educating parents on local resources, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There may also be the need to work with teachers so a united front can assist with keeping a student on track and healthy.

Child Welfare

Unfortunately, there are situations when a child needs the school to step in because of problems going on at home. A child may be skipping school on a regular basis or could be in emotional distress because of their parents going through a nasty divorce at home. A social worker will work with authorities and agencies like Child Protective Services to make sure a child is safe in their home when they are not at school. Additional resources and support may be needed and sometimes, even a home visit is required to check up on students.

Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Online Masters in Social Work 2018

Working in the field of social work within a public school can be a very versatile job that provides a great deal of support to students in need of it. Keep in mind that certain levels of education may be needed depending on the job.