What is Social Work?

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The Social work profession is difficult to define because it is extremely broad. There is a plethora of pathways that a social worker could take; child, family, and school social work, military and veterans, medical and health, psychiatric, mental health, substance abuse and so many more. Broadly speaking, social work is a profession that helps advocate for others. Social workers help give a voice to those who can’t find theirs and help people gain access to resources that they need. Despite the numerous pathways that social work can be broken up into, each one encompasses a wide range of techniques, practices, and most importantly, values that are used to serve those in need.

Advocating for those in need requires a strong set of values. Social workers should practice and uphold these values throughout their practice, no matter what pathway they take. One of the values is empathy. It is important for Social workers to be able to understand and feel what the people they are serving are experiencing. It allows the professional to put themselves in the client’s shoes and explore the different aspects or systems that are involved, which will be explained further later. This leads into another value of using a strength-based approach to help families overcome different challenges. No matter the case, one can find a strength in regard to the situation. Another important value that Social workers should uphold is knowing their limits and abilities as a professional. A professional should ask for a second opinion when they are unsure of something and practice within the scope of their skills and knowledge. Lastly, the professional should value social equality and justice by upholding equal rights, opportunities and laws. To promote the value of social justice, social workers must be taught to translate their actions into advocacy and practice that promote opportunity for all populations,

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