What does a clinical social worker do?

Clinical social workers may conduct group counseling sessions.

The clinical social worker is a talented and highly trained professional who can work in many different ways to provide care to those in need. It would be easier to ask what these professionals don’t do, since jobs in this field can be very diverse. However, broadly speaking, these social workers can work in a multitude of areas, identifying those who need additional assistance, diagnosing mental health issues that may exist, and possibly finding support services that can be used to promote recovery. of individuals or entire family systems.

Some clinical social workers specialize in pediatrics and work with hospitalized children and their families.

It is much easier to explain the training needed for the clinical social worker. Most of these professionals have completed at least a master’s degree in social work and most have also spent at least two years in paid internships. At the end of this training, social workers typically take the exams and receive the designation of a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Each region may have variations on what is required for licensing.

Clinical social workers work face-to-face with troubled teens.

At the time of receiving a license, a clinical social worker may decide to work in many different areas. Some become medical social workers and work in hospitals, where they can assist in the care of arriving or departing patients, plan discharge strategies, and identify the need for additional care within the hospital or upon discharge. There may be private counseling or families or patients involved in this work as well.

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Clinical social workers may conduct couples and family therapy.

Other social workers could work in hospitals of different types: perhaps drug treatment centers or mental institutions. There, they could play a vital role in providing counseling services to patients, helping them plan support once they leave the hospital, working with family members if necessary, and possibly facilitating group counseling. Especially in drug treatment facilities, the role of the diagnostician can be important, as substance abuse and mental illness are often closely linked. In psychiatric hospitals, some social workers may assume a diagnostic role, but this responsibility may be shared with several staff members.

Many clinical social workers choose to work with people one-on-one.

The clinical social worker is a key employee of many agencies that serve families, such as child protection services or family mental health agencies. In this capacity, social workers can assess the health and well-being needs of families, make determinations about the need for interventions to protect children, and negotiate with other agencies that provide services to children or families in need. Likewise, social workers are sometimes employed by agencies that protect the elderly or provide services to them. Determining who requires these services and working with individual clients can be part of this work.

Clinical social workers can spend their time helping the homeless and other disenfranchised individuals.

Sometimes a person with this job has a private practice as a psychotherapist. The LCSW designation, in almost all cases, allows social workers to be therapists. In this role, they may work with children, adults, couples, or families, and while family systems therapy tends to be identified as the theoretical “therapy school” of LCSWs, there is wide variation in the schools of thought that inform the practice of therapy. each one. clinical social worker.

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