Becoming a Social Worker
Volunteer work is often enough to show that you have the commitment and aptitude for social work. There are many places you can turn to find positions. Many states have an official online resource for volunteers. The United Way is another potential contact. Some people join Americorps for service opportunities – you often get a small living stipend in addition to funds to use toward your future college education.
If you are a student, you might look up the publication “For The Common Good: Internships with Social and Community Service Agencies” by CEI Internships – agency internship opportunities are listed by state. It is sometimes possible to get a regular paid position in human or social services. You might, for example, be hired as a residential counselor. You won’t be doing therapy, but you can help people with day-to-day concerns.
Entering the Social Work Field at the Baccalaureate or Master’s Level
You can pursue a social work degree at either the bachelor’s or master’s level. In many states, baccalaureate social workers are licensed professionals. Master’s level social workers are eligible for licensing in all states. They have an expanded scope of practice.
The most important thing, when it comes to choosing a program, is accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
A baccalaureate in social work is not a prerequisite for entering a master’s program – a liberal arts degree will be fine. If you don’t have the undergraduate degree in social work, you will miss out on the opportunity to skip some generalist courses at the master’s level. However, when your master’s degree is conferred, you’ll be eligible for the same level of licensing. Learn more about the paths to become a social worker if you don't have a CSWE accredited undergraduate degree by reading through this informative article : "Options for Students Without CSWE Accredited Bachelor’s Degrees"
The most important thing, when it comes to choosing a social work program, is accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This is a licensing requirement in most states. CSWE is a program level accreditation, separate from and in addition to the institution’s accreditation; it means that your education will give you the kind of professional preparation that is the industry standard for social work.
Sandra "Puma" Jones (5 October 1953—28 January 1990) was an American singer, best known for her involvement with the Grammy Award-winning group, Black Uhuru.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, Jones graduated from Columbia University with a Masters Degree, before becoming a social worker in New York City. She studied dance with the Chuck Davis...