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What Do Social Workers Do?

Be a World Changer.

Social workers change the world and if you are looking for a career with diversity and meaning, we would encourage you to consider social work. The fundamental mission of the social work profession is to serve people needing assistance and to work to make social institutions more responsive to human needs. Social work is distinguished from other helping professions by its person-in-environment focus and its strong commitment to social and economic justice.

Social workers provide assistance to people in every stage of life – from birth to old age. As a result, the practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior, of social, and economic, and cultural institutions, and of the interaction of all these factors. Social workers can be found in a wide range of work settings providing a wide range of services including: helping people obtain tangible services; providing counseling and psychotherapy to individuals, families, and groups; helping communities provide or improve social and health services; and participating in the legislative process.

Just a few of the areas where social workers are often involved and make a difference in someone’s life include:

  • abuse
  • addiction
  • advocacy
  • child welfare
  • corporate HR/Finance
  • death
  • disability
  • discrimination
  • divorce
  • domestic violence
  • homelessness
  • physical & mental illnesses
  • poverty
  • sports teams
  • unemployment

Where can a Social Worker be employed?

  • Colleges and universities
  • Foster care & Adoption agencies
  • Government agencies
  • Health clinics and outpatient health care settings
  • Hospice and palliative care
  • Hospitals and medical centers
  • Mental health clinics and outpatient facilities
  • Psychiatric hospitals
  • Schools
  • Social service agencies
  • Vocational rehabilitation facilities
Nashville social work student working on laptop on campus

If this sounds like what you’re looking for in a career,
we invite you to further investigate a degree program with the College of Social Work: