How To Have A Career In Social Service
A social service worker is a rewarding career for those who wish to address social and community issues and interested in working with people. Many people have the pre-notion that social service workers are simply involved with N.G.O.s as part-time activities/jobs. But in reality, social service workers work with individuals, communities, and families and deal with social issues such as unemployment, education, and poverty.
Social workers contribute to society by working for poor people's upliftment by working with children with special needs and promoting women's empowerment.
About the Social Service Worker
Social Service Worker manages the problems of individuals and groups in their everyday lives. To develop programs that assist vulnerable populations, they also work in community organizations.
On a daily basis, social workers connect clients with social service resources, counsel clients on coping skills, and conduct client assessments. Based on social work research, they determine the effectiveness of services and programs.
Clinical social workers treat clients with mental or behavioral issues. They can diagnose disorders and provide therapy to individuals or groups. Clinical social workers also create treatment plans for their clients and coordinate with healthcare professionals on treatment approaches.
Eligibility to become a Social Worker
You can pursue Social Service Worker at U.G., P.G., and Ph.D. levels.
- For B.S.W / B.An (S.W.) program: Aspirants should have completed any discipline their class 12 from a recognized board.
- For M.S.W / M.A (S.W.) program: Aspirants in any stream from a recognized university/ institute, should have completed their graduation, but graduates with sociology or social sciences are given more preference.
Candidates can also apply for the M.S.W. program even after the completion of their M.Phil.
- Candidates having an M.Phil or M.S.W. degree can pursue a Ph.D/doctorate in social work.
- Candidates are may also be required to qualify for entrance exams such as TISSNET, A.M.U. Entrance Test, J.M.I. The entrance test, DUET, etc. to take admission into the Master's program.
How to Become a Social Service Worker
Social workers must meet the education requirements before applying for social work jobs and apply for licensure. Depending on the particular career, a master's degree may be required for social workers. Students who are wondering how and why to become a social service worker can follow these six steps.
STEP 1: COMPLETE A BACHELOR'S DEGREE
The first step to becoming and representing as a social worker is earning a bachelor's degree.
STEP 2: CHOOSE A SOCIAL WORK SPECIALTY
Social workers often specialize in training by focusing on healthcare, school social work, mental health, or children and families.
STEP 3: COMPLETE AN INTERNSHIP
As part of the requirements of social worker education, social workers complete an internship.
STEP 4: MUST EARN A MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK (M.S.W.)
During an M.S.W. program, as many social work careers require an M.S.W., in order to build advanced training for the social work students in their field.
STEP 5: EARN PROFESSIONAL LICENSE OR CERTIFICATION
In every state, holding a state-issued license to practice is a must for clinical social workers.
Non-clinical social workers may also need a certification or license.
STEP 6: FIND A SOCIAL WORK POSITION
Candidates should research before applying for social work jobs, about the required education, work experience, and certification. Social workers work in various settings, social services organizations, including government agencies, schools, and hospitals.
Top Social Science Institutes in India
India has many top-rated colleges and universities for Sociology and Social Science courses such as:
• Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai
• Delhi School of Social Work, Delhi
• College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai
• Xavier Institute of Labour Relations, Mumbai
• Madras School of Social Work, Chennai
Social Service Entrance Exam
Many others offer admissions based on marks scored in the qualifying examination, and some other colleges give admission based on the entrance exam, group discussion, and interviews. Some entrance exams are listed below:
- Aligarh Muslim University (A.M.U.) M.S.W. Admission Test (A.M.U. 2020)
- KUCET Social Work Entrance Exam
- Jamia Millia Islamia MA Admission Entrance Test (J.M.I. Admission 2020)
- Calicut University M.S.W. Entrance Examination
Career Opportunities in Social Services
People belonging to any educational background will first have to complete their bachelor's degree in social work. Then followed by a master's degree. One may also pursue a B.S.W / B.An (S.W.) program in social work.
As a Social Service Worker, you can work in different areas like Clinics, Health Industry, Hospitals, Human Rights Agencies, Education Sector, N.G.O.'s, Old Age Homes, Disaster Management Departments, etc.
Employment Opportunities Of A Social Worker
A social service worker can find employment opportunities in both governments as well as corporate/private sectors. Following are a few of the fields that social service workers can explore: Medical and Healthcare Sector, Education and Research, N.G.O.s, H.R. in Corporate Sector, Government Sector.
Top N.G.O.'s and Recruiting Company For Social Workers
Some prominent N.G.O.s where a qualified and experienced social worker can find employment opportunities are as follows:
- Smile Foundation
- Amnesty International
- Green Peace, etc.
Salary Of A Social Service Worker
A social worker's salary usually increases with knowledge, experience, and time and can vary according to his/her educational qualification.
In India, the average salary provided to a Social Worker can be expected between Rs. 2 to 3 lac per annum.
In the U.S.A., the average salary provided to a Social worker is above $42k per annum.
Study Material to Become Social Service Worker
Given below is a books list that will help applicants to take an entrance test:
- Sanjay Bhattacharya, K.Singh for Social work
- Vidyabhushan& Sachdev for Sociology
- Asthana for Counselling & Guidance
- Murli Desai for Integrated Social Work
There are several other books available in the market. Students can also opt for online study materials and PDFs over books, but the latter is more effective.
Pros & Cons of Becoming A Social Service Worker
- Social workers may choose to work in any field such as healthcare, education, military, etc.
- As it involves helping others, social work offers a sense of fulfillment.
- The job market available for social workers is expected to grow by more than 10%.
- There are chances that one may get emotionally involved but have to keep it professional in some situations.
- Social work, to be honest, may not be a very lucrative career. It could take many years for a person to establish his/her name in this field.
FAQs about Social Service
Which skills should a social worker have?
A social worker must have patience, critical thinking ability, empathy, etc., among several other skills.
Does any institute offer online social worker courses?
Yes, several institutions like IGNOU, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University, Madhya Pradesh Bhoj Open University, which offer online social worker programs.
How much does a social worker earn on an average basis?
On average, a social worker can make something between INR 2 L.P.A. and INR 6 L.P.A. in India, depending upon the sector in which they are rendering their services.