It is a known fact that injustice is prevalent in the society. The rate in crimes and poverty haven’t really seen its end, even in a country like Australia. With this, many organizations and foundations have been established to cater to the growing needs of the community, as well as the ever increasing problems that arise in the society. Those who work for such institutions towards the betterment of the public are called Social Workers.
Social work is never an easy task and is often a path not much travelled by those looking for a career in the medical field. One reason for this is because of the tasks entailed by the profession. According to the Australian’ Government’s Job Outlook, social workers “assess the social needs of individuals, families and groups, assist and empower people to develop and use the skills and resources needed to resolve social and other problems, and further human well being and human rights, social justice and social development.” In easier terms, they provide all kinds of services to the public.
Given the nature of their work, it is important that social workers have a sincere desire to help other people while also having the passion to make the society better.
According to My Future, an Australian career information and exploration service, other personal requirements for social workers include:
- Emotional Maturity
- Keen Analytical Abilities
- Good organizational skills
- Good communication skills
- Works well with a team
- Has unwavering commitment to social justice
Duties and Tasks
Social work requires a range of tasks, from assessing to researching, counselling and reaching out. It is not an easy job, but for those who have a heart for others, working on such task can be very rewarding.
Here are a few of the tasks and duties a social worker will have to do:
- Assesses resources, as well as the needs of the community
- Health and Welfare
- Other Community Services
- Researches and studies community needs, problems and solutions
- Facilitates research, planning and implementation of community projects
- Provides counselling and support to victims and those affected by crises
- Lobbies for change in social welfare policies and procedures to ensure social justice among the community
A social worker can also specialize in certain fields, including:
- Youth and Child welfare
- Medical and Health services
- Mental Health services
- Mental Health Services
- Aged Care and Disabilities
- Community Development
- Correctional services
Employment, Compensation and Working Hours
According to Job Outlook, employment rate in the profession has grown significantly in the past five years and is seen to continue to grow until 2016. Notably, in Victoria, the number of social workers continues to grow. The state carries over 40% of all social workers in Australia, the site Live in Victoria notes.
As for work shifts, Job Outlook reports that full-time social workers have average weekly working hours of 35.8, as compared to the average of 41.3 for all other occupations. Social workers also receive an average of $1,000 a week (before tax) as compared to the average $900 of all other career options.