5 Great Careers in Social Work in Behavioral Health

5 Great Behavioral Health Jobs in Social Work

  • Mental Health Social Worker
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction Social Worker
  • Child Welfare and Custody Social Worker
  • School Social Worker
  • ocational Social Worker

Social work is one of the most self-explanatory career titles out there. Professionals in this field work to help individuals utilize their social resources and become positive contributing members of society. This is also a very broad field, providing a professional community for a wide variety of people. Here are five careers in social work for those interested in behavioral health.

1. Mental Health Social Worker

Behavioral health problems often arise from underlying mental health struggles. Mental health social workers collaborate with other professionals to assist individuals struggling with mental health challenges. The team typically consists of a therapist, a psychiatrist, and the social worker. While the psychiatrist regulates psychotropic medication to balance chemicals and severe behaviors, and the therapist helps the person process and cope with emotional difficulties, the social worker is most involved with day to day life. They help the person pursue educational or career goals, secure safe housing, and gain access to good nutrition.

2. Substance Abuse and Addiction Social Worker

One specific behavioral health problem currently plaguing America is substance abuse and addiction. Future social workers interested in this epidemic would find fulfilling careers as substance abuse and addiction social workers. They work closely with rehabilitation facilities, physicians, psychiatrists, and therapists. They help people find and maintain commitment to treatments and recovery meetings. They help them secure sober living and stick to healthy diet and exercise plans. When the substance abuse has led to legal ramifications, social workers might testify on behalf of the person's successes in recovery. The National Association of Social Workers offers this guide to becoming certified in this subfield.

3. Child Welfare and Custody Social Worker

Whether on the part of the parents or the children, behavioral health issues affect the entire family. Social workers who are interested in children, adolescents, and families would enjoy careers in this area of the field. They provide daily face-to-face support for parents who are struggling to parent effectively due to either their own or their children's behavioral health challenges. Social workers assist the family in accessing mental health and community resources. They might make custody recommendations in severe cases. US News and World Report offers a trajectory of this career option, one of the most dynamic options in behavioral health social work.

4. School Social Worker

Children's behavioral health problems largely manifest in the school setting and directly influence their academic success and peer relationships. Social workers interested in children and adolescents specifically and the educational system will enjoy this line of work. They might work for a specific school, and entire district, or independently contract to work with specific children. They serve as mediators between the child, their family, and the school teachers and administrators. They might attended class and school counseling sessions with the child. They often get involved in public policy related to local, state, and national educational legislation.

5. Vocational Social Worker

Those more interested in working with college students and adults will enjoy being vocational social workers. They work at public employment assistance offices and individual colleges and universities. They help individuals with behavioral health challenges pursue educational and career goals. They assist them in preparing resumés, cover letters, personal statements, and applications. They assist them in seeking financial aid for school and proper attire for job interviews.

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

People who struggle with behavioral health challenges deserve satisfying lives as much as anyone else. Behavioral health social workers strive to make this possible. Those who dream of walking next to someone in their journey towards fulfillment should consider careers in this field.