Military social work is a unique area of social work that focuses on helping active military personnel, veterans, and their families with issues related to mental health including PTSD and other impacts of war and military service. This role is also referred to as an army social worker. Students who specialize in this area of social work also learn how to help community-based agencies identify and serve military populations in their community.
Distance learning has become more mainstream as technology improves and the need for a more convenient format of education grows. More and more accredited schools now make online delivery of curriculum an options to working professionals or students with family or personal commitments. These schools include Ashford University, Capella University, Purdue University, the University of Southern California, and Walden University.
Job Duties of a Military Social Worker
Again, this area of social work is quite unique in that qualified individuals work specifically with military personnel and their families. For example, you might provide services a spouse of a current servicemember or help veterans who struggle with PTSD or thoughts of suicide. If you want to work as a military social worker, you’ll be responsible for a variety of job duties, some of which may include, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- Work under the direction of social workers, psychologists, or others who have more education or experience
- Help determine what type of help their clients need
- Work with clients and other professionals, such as social workers, to develop a treatment plan
- Help clients get help with daily activities, such as eating and bathing
- Coordinate services provided to clients by their own or other organizations
- Research services available to their clients in their communities
- Determine clients’ eligibility for services such as food stamps and Medicaid
- Help clients complete paperwork to apply for assistance programs
- Monitor clients to ensure that services are provided appropriately
Degree Requirements for Military Social Work
In order to work in this area of social work, you’ll need specific training and qualifications. Most likely, you’ll need to earn a degree in social work and become certified in military social work. Military social work is not one of the most common areas of specialization; therefore, it’s important to research schools carefully to verify that you’ll receive the training you need to work in this field.