Social workers of many types who are making a difference in the world

Studying social work offers students with the information, skills and values to apply across contexts, communities and populations. However, social workers can specialise in a variety of fields throughout their careers. Take a look at these seven different sorts of social workers who work with certain demographics.

A social worker who specialises in substance misuse.

Social workers who specialise in substance abuse work in hospitals and rehabilitation centres to help people who are battling with addiction, substance misuse, or mental health issues. They seek to provide both short and long-term solutions, providing resources and evaluating anything from discharge plans to medication options.

This sort of social worker helps patients discover strategies to overcome their addiction or work through an acute mental disorder by offering stability and support, allowing them to live as healthy a life as possible.

Social worker in the community

Community social workers assist in the planning, coordination, and organisation of projects involving specific local populations. They also collaborate with community-based nonprofits to provide counselling to families and communities in the aftermath of tragedies and natural disasters.

Local issues are also addressed by these professionals through community engagement, grant applications, and meetings with local legislators. They could be employed by advocacy organisations, relief organisations, or government agencies.

Social worker in hospice and palliative care

When a family learns that a loved one has a terminal illness or has a poor prognosis, hospice and palliative care social workers can assist reduce the pain of the process for everyone concerned. This sort of social worker assists in the care of people who are seriously or terminally ill, assisting with pain treatment, challenging decision-making, and improving patients’ quality of life.

Their services, however, go beyond the patients themselves and include the patients’ family and friends. They help these people cope with the stress of caring for a sick loved one. Social workers in hospice and palliative care assist patients and their families in navigating the final stages of life, as well as the realities of what is left behind for families.

Social worker for military personnel and veterans

A military and veterans social worker can assist veterans and active duty soldiers in processing their emotions and adjusting to life and family outside of battle. Soldiers’ and their families’ lives can be torn apart by the stress of military service. Many soldiers return home with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), regret over war deeds, terrifying nightmares, or even boredom with daily life.

Military and veterans social workers specialise in providing support to soldiers and their families for post-traumatic stress, role adjustments, the implications and stressors of returning home, and substance abuse that may occur as a result of combat, whether they are helping soldiers who have just been deployed or those who are returning home after serving overseas.

Social worker for children, families, and schools

The child, family, and school social worker deals with a wide range of circumstances involving children and adolescents. They might be able to aid a child who has been through trauma or abuse, or they might be able to assist parents in finding resources for their child who is suffering from a mental illness.

Those who work in a school context assist students in identifying and overcoming barriers to learning. These experts are employed to support children and help them grow, whether it’s counselling students through the loss of a peer, bridging the gap between school and home life, or resolving behavioural concerns.


Patients and their families who have received mental health care in a hospital setting may find it challenging to know where to turn following discharge. A psychiatric social worker can assist you in this situation.

These social professionals provide therapy and analyse their patients’ psychiatric health. They collaborate with the person’s family to provide recommendations, provide resources, and help them comprehend laws and long-term care options.

A psychiatric social worker ensures that patients are only released when they are ready and can also help with mental health exams or therapy. In a world of complicated processes and legal repercussions, a psychiatric social worker can help patients and their loved ones grasp things and feel less stressed.

Social worker in the healthcare field

Within the healthcare profession, healthcare social workers assist patients in navigating the emotional, physical, and financial difficulties that come with serious medical illnesses. Patients with chronic or terminal medical illnesses who are in and out of hospitals may be in a state of chaos. They and their loved ones may be unsure of what to expect. They may be unaware of the variety of therapy and end-of-life care options available. They may require financial assistance or ties with local religious leaders.

Healthcare social workers provide stability, reassurance, and guidance to those who may not know where to turn next during this time of stress, loss, and uncertainty.

Written by smallpeacock740