Social Work is both the art and the science of providing services designed to assist people individually and in relationship to their environment. It is a growing and challenging profession committed to the improvement of the quality of the lives of individuals, families and communities in an increasingly complex society.
Social work as a career offers many possibilities to people who want to make a difference in the quality of life for individuals and society. This profession is practiced with diverse population groups in a broad variety of employment settings.
The range of skills, knowledge and expertise which is required makes the profession a challenging and demanding field. In the 21st century, the social work profession is projected to be one of the growth areas in terms of occupational opportunities in both Canada and the United States. More than 90 percent of our graduates find employment within six months of graduation.
Social work is a profession for those with a strong desire to help improve people's lives. Social workers assist people by helping them cope with and solve issues in their everyday lives, such as family and personal problems and dealing with relationships; help clients who face a disability, life-threatening disease, social problem, such as inadequate housing, unemployment, or substance abuse and assist families that have serious domestic conflicts, sometimes involving child or spousal abuse.
Child welfare social workers, family services social workers, or child protective services social workers assess their client’s needs and offer assistance to improve their situation coordinating available services to assist a child or family. These workers may specialize in working with a particular problem, population or setting, such as child protective services, adoption, homelessness, domestic violence, or foster care. In schools, social workers often serve as the link between students' families and the school, working with parents, guardians, teachers, and other school officials to ensure that students reach their academic and personal potential. They also assist students in dealing with stress or emotional problems, addressing problems such as misbehavior, truancy, teenage pregnancy, and drug and alcohol problems and advise teachers on how to cope with difficult students.
Medical and public health social workers provide psychosocial support to individuals, families, or vulnerable populations so they can cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses; advise family caregivers, counsel patients, help plan for patients' needs after discharge from hospital, arrange for at-home services.
Gerontological social workers specialize in services for senior citizens and their families running support groups for the adult children of aging parents, assessing, coordinating, and monitoring services such as housing, transportation, and long-term care.
Medical and public health social workers may work for hospitals, nursing and personal care facilities, individual and family services agencies, or local governments.
Mental health and substance abuse social workers assess and treat individuals with mental illness or substance abuse problems, including individual and group therapy, outreach, crisis intervention, social rehabilitation, and teaching skills needed for everyday living.
Other types of social workers include social work administrators, researchers, planners and policymakers, who develop and implement programs to address issues such as child abuse, homelessness, substance abuse, poverty, and violence. These workers research and analyze policies, programs, and regulations. They identify social problems and suggest legislative and other solutions. They may help raise funds or write grants to support these programs.
University of Windsor graduates are employed across the world in areas of Social Work in:
- Government Agencies
- Correctional Services
- Volunteer Agencies
- Children's Services
- Residential Centres
- Family Services