5 Social Work Jobs Focused in LGBT Community
- Youth Counselor
- Advocacy Work
- Events Promoter
- Adoption Caseworker
Social work has strong ties to the LGBT community. Because social workers understand intersectionality, they are concerned with every population that is being unfairly oppressed. The skills you'll learn in your social work degree will help you succeed in a variety of fields related to the LGBT population. Here's five examples of LGBT jobs for social workers.
1. Youth Counselor
LGBT youth need support. They often can't get it from their parents or community. That's why so many cities have LGBT youth centers and organizations. A social worker can provide limited counseling services and create a welcoming space for youth working through their sexual orientations and gender identities. A bachelor's degree in social work (BSW) often teaches case management skills, which will let you follow young clients as you work with them. Because so many LGBT non-profits are grant-funded, your ability to track outcomes and interventions will be very useful.
The LGBT community has unique psychological needs. That's why counselors who focus on this population are in high demand. With a master's degree in social work (MSW) and a concentration in counseling, you can become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). You can offer one-on-one counseling for anxiety, depression or other mental health issues. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the LGBT populations experiences mental health problems at three to four times the rate of the general population. Your services as an LGBT-friendly counselor would be in high demand.
3. Advocacy Work
Social work doesn't just focus on the individual. Macro-level advocacy is an important way for social workers to fight against poverty and oppression. If you're passionate about the LGBT community, you can use your social work to promote transgender rights, fair housing ordinances or anti-discrimination laws. When you've completed your BSW, you'll be able to work as a policy analyst or program leader. With an MSW, you can become a manager or director at a non-profit and lead others in the fight for human rights.
4. Events Promoter
For many LGBT communities, Pride is the highlight of this year. This event is usually held in July to commemorate the Stonewall Riots, but major cities host other LGBT events all year round; however, someone needs to organize them. Although this isn't a typical social work job in LGBT issues, it's a good way to build transferable skills and expand your personal network. Plus, you get to attend the events and enjoy them.
5. Adoption Caseworker
A more typical LGBT-related job for social workers is adoption assistance. Many LGBT couples provide a loving home for adopted children, and you could help make their dreams of becoming a family turn into a reality. As a caseworker, you'd help prospective parents prepare their home, navigate bureaucracy and deal with the emotions of adding a new child. You might work for a government agency or a private adoption firm. Either way, you'll probably need an MSW to get started.
Related Resource: 36 Most Affordable Accredited MSW Programs in the South East 2018
You can be a part of the LGBT community or an ally. As long as you have a compassionate attitude and the right skillset, there are plenty of social work jobs in the LGBT community.