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Non-clinical social workers and clinical social workers are two different things and their roles in working with people vary significantly. Depending on previous experience, personality, in addition to personal preference, one may be better suited for working in clinical or non-clinical social work settings. After proficiently understanding the differences between the two, you should decide which would be the most appropriate fit before getting licensed in social work. The two have fairly explicit career paths and depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, you might be better suited for one route or another.
A non-clinical social worker can practice with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, but many return for their master’s to provide more comprehensive experience to those they’re working for. Non-clinical work may incorporate therapy, public or private organizations, case management, administration, and more. Many times non-clinical social workers will work on counseling and helping their clients with whatever issues they may be having. This can range from working with individuals to secure a new job, to coordinating rehabilitation programs, and more. This typically will have you working with clients on more of a consulting basis, compared to a clinical setting, which will be more comprehensive in services.
Licensure varies depending on states. Some of these may include:
As a clinical social worker you’re likely to address individual and family problems such as serious illness, substance abuse, and domestic conflict. A master’s degree in social work is necessary if you want to provide clinical services. Most of your work will be done in a clinical setting and typically encompasses psychotherapy, counseling, therapy, and more.
State licensing requirements vary, but some amount of supervised work experience is necessary for private practice.
The National Association of Social Workers sets guidelines on what clinical social workers should be capable of doing for clients:
■ Establish and maintain a relationship of mutual respect, acceptance, and trust
■ Gather and interpret social, personal,environmental, and health information
■ Evaluate and treat problems within their scope of practice
■ Establish achievable treatment goals with the client
■ Facilitate cognitive, affective, and behavioral changes consistent with treatment goals
■ Evaluate the effectiveness of treatment services provided to the client
■ Identify appropriate resources and assessment instruments, as needed
■ Advocate for client services
■ Collaborate effectively with other social work or allied professionals, when appropriate.
A career in social work typically requires you to obtain a graduate degree like the MSW or DSW, but occasionally other majors like human services can aid you in this field, too. A social work degree used to be limited to campus programs only, but recent trends have yielded several accredited schools now offering online alternatives like the programs below.
|BS - Human Services BS - Human Services: Child & Family Welfare BS - Human Services: Human Services Admin||Kaplan University — Although Kaplan University is based in Davenport, Iowa, the school has over 70 campuses across the nation and is one of the largest online colleges in the world. While Kaplan lacks a program specific to Social Work, it does boast an array of Human Services programs that can train students in aiding and counseling others. Specializations include Child and Family Welfare and Human Services Administration. If you would like to learn more about Kaplan University, click here.|
|MA - Family & Comm Services BA - Social Services||Ashford University — Located in Clinton, Iowa, Ashford University has over 60,000 students currently enrolled either online or at the campus, making it one of the largest schools in the country. Ashford offers two programs for students interested in the Social Work field: the BA of Social Sciences in Social Services and the MA of Education in Family and Community Services. Ashford University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-748-9001, wascsenior.org. If you would like to learn more about Ashford University, click here.|
|MSW MSW - Medical Social Work MSW - Military MSW - Children, Families, and Couples MSW - Crisis and Trauma||Walden University — Walden University is one of the largest and most respected school networks in the country with almost 50,000 students enrolled world-wide. The school offers several MSW degrees online including specializaitons in Medical, Military and Family Social Work. Walden is based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.|
|MSW - Families & Children MSW - Mental Health MSW - Community MSW - Health||University of Southern California — If you wish to earn your degree from a large school with a lengthy history of tradition and academic excellence, the University of Southern California is a perfect choice. The school has a very popular online Master of Social Work degree available that does not require campus visitation for completion. USC is located in Las Angeles. If you would like to learn more about University of Southern California, click here.|