Editor PicksHow To Become A Social Worker In The Army

How To Become A Social Worker In The Army


Why Choose A Career In Military Social Work

Military Social Workers | How to Become One and What They Do

A career in military social work is a privilege to work with the brave individuals who were willing to sacrifice their lives for the freedoms of millions of Americans. The many challenges and hurdles that veterans and active-duty service members face can seem insurmountable. The care and support of military social workers can be as simple as having a conversation and can help decrease the unfortunately high rates of suicide among veterans. Military social workers across the nation are working diligently to address and resolve the many issues affecting U.S. military personnel and their familiesa truly rewarding career, indeed, that is making an impact on countless lives. Start your career in Military Social Work with a Masters Degree in Social Work.

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Why Choose Social Work

The Master of Social Work Program at Fayetteville State University , prepares you for advanced social work practice and leadership with a focus on issues concerning children, families, the military, mental health and substance abuse. The program is designed to prepare you to practice with individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations in rural, urban and military settings. You will be prepared to utilize ethical and evidence based practice in prevention, treatment, intervention, clinical practice, research, and administration activities that promote human well-being. The program also seeks to equip you with knowledge, skills, and social work values to alleviate oppression, poverty, and discrimination in a multicultural society and in the global community. You will matriculate in an environment that promotes diversity, and stimulates a desire for lifelong learning by bringing together faculty, field instructors, social work professionals, and students for collaborative learning.

The Master of Social Work Program is fully accredited by the CSWE.

Faculty and staff within Fayetteville State Universitys School of Social Work go above and beyond to ensure that students have everything they require to be successful academically, professionally and personally.

The Role Of An Army Social Worker

Social workers employed by the American Red Cross assisted soldiers during both World Wars, but werent commissioned as Army officers until July 1945. Today, Army social workers provide a variety of services to active-duty service members and their families, including clinical counseling, crisis intervention and critical event debriefing. Service members rely on military social workers for help dealing with all manner of psychological and emotional disorders, as well as substance abuse issues and family crises. Social workers may also help soldiers prepare for the transition to private sector life and offer mental health therapy for conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder .

In addition to working directly with service members and their families, a military social worker may participate in or lead research in areas such as pre- and post-deployment resiliency, comprehensive health care, and the transition to civilian life, as well as assist in training medical personnel or consult on policy development.

Regardless of which discipline they choose, social workers are vital to the military. According to data compiled by the Military Health System Management Analysis and Reporting Tool, military social workers conducted more than 1.3 million behavioral health encounters in 2018, more than any other behavioral health profession.

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What Areas Can I Work In As A Social Worker

There are a huge amount of areas that you can work in as a social worker. From a parole officer to a family counsellor, social work is a huge aspect in many careers. Many different jobs work indirectly with social work and social workers, such as guards, prison officers, judges and lawyers. This gives you a large amount of jobs to choose from when you’re searching for a career that involves social work. Here is a list of some of the other jobs that you can work in that involve social work:

  • child welfare social worker

What Skills Are Necessary To Become A Social Worker

Anniversary gift supports military social work scholarships

Social workers need the following skills to be effective on the job:

  • Interpersonal skills: Social workers should be able to empathize, communicate and provide compassion for those in need.

  • Organization skills: Clients should be seen in a timely manner and have all their needs met. You might also have to file paperwork and execute all plans within predetermined time frames.

  • Communication skills: You might communicate with clients, resource contacts, supervisors and the public.

  • Technology skills: You’ll often need to complete scheduling and paperwork through specialized computer programs.

  • Critical thinking skills: Developing plans that meet your clients’ unique needs often requires critical thinking skills.

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Why People Become Military Social Workers

Despite the many difficulties of their line of work, military social workers can derive a great deal of gratification from helping military populations and their loved ones. Once they get past the initial stigma of engaging in therapy, Ive found my military clients to be extremely motivated and willing to do the work it takes to make positive changes in their lives, Maglio said.

Fischer-Urmey said clients often are grateful for the help. During my years working with military and their families, Ive had many encounters with grateful clients, several of whom Ive had the opportunity to run into over the years at other bases and in different countries, she told OnlineMSWPrograms.com.

I really am treated as part of the family here at the battalion, Maglio said. I attend all of their special events, such as formations for awards and promotions, retirement ceremonies and holiday parties. I also attend outings and dinners with the spouses and children.

Keig said witnessing his clients progress and growth makes his work gratifying and sustaining.

The most rewarding aspect of my current position is seeing the transformation so many of the veterans go through: from homeless, penniless and filled with despair to housed, working or collecting pension and/or disability compensation and feeling hopeful about their future, he said. I intend to remain working for the federal government as a social worker until I retire.

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What Is A Military Social Worker

As explained by the Council on Social Work Education, military social work involves direct practice policy and administrative activities and advocacy including providing prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative services to service members, veterans, their families, and their communities. Social workers also help by creating programs and policies to improve the quality of life for these groups. Finally, military social workers help members of the military transition from active to veteran status.

A career as a military social worker can include serving as a commissioned member of the armed forces, employment with the VA , or within the context of private practice. Being a military social worker may look different depending on the specific practice area.

The VA is the single largest employer of masters level social workers in the United States. At the VA, social workers provide an array of services to veterans and their families. This can include crisis intervention and mental health therapy for clinical conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder , anxiety, depression, and drug and alcohol addiction. Military social workers at the VA also help with navigating resources, advocacy, and benefit assistance. Social workers play a critical role by addressing a wide range of needs that veterans may experience when returning home from war. More information about the services social workers private at the VA can be found here.

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Social Worker Duties And Job Description

Depending on their specialty, social workers may work in mental health clinics, child welfare agencies, schools, hospitals, community development companies, or in private practice. It is typical that most social workers work full time, and often on weekends, holidays and after normal business hours.

Overall, social workers help people of all ages overcome difficult challenges, such as abuse, discrimination, addiction, divorce, unemployment, disabilities, and mental illness. They serve individuals, families, and groups enhance their capacity to function in society and support communities in need of services. Social workers also help people of all ethical, racial, and religious backgrounds address their needs through advocacy and psychosocial services. Some social workers counsel individuals and families with ways to cope with everyday stresses of life.

Social workers work in schools, hospitals, mental health clinics and senior centers. They also practice in prisons, with the military, and with large corporations. The US Department of Veterans Affairs employs over 10,000 social workers alone. In fact, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, there are over 200,000 clinically trained social workers in the workforce, which is more than all psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurses combined.

Military Social Work In : Army Navy Air Force Marines And National Guard

Frank speaks about being an Army Social Worker

Transitioning back to civilian life isnt always easy for veterans, especially those who have experienced a trauma. Unpacking the mental and emotional effects of serving in a war zone can be an important step forward. But to gain the trust of clients, social workers need a deep understanding of military culture.

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Advanced Generalist Social Workers

These social workers provide services at all levels, including supervisory positions. They may draft grant proposals, balance budgets or put together policies for social service organizations.

They provide services at all levels, addressing a variety of social problems through micro, mezzo, and macro systems to bring about organizational and community change.

Skills to succeed in social work: Social workers are problem solvers with excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills. Youll need to be comfortable under stress, adaptable in dynamic situations to successfully facilitate effective solutions for diverse populations.

Your resilience and persistence in the face of unpredictable results defines your success in social work. While things may not always go your way, youll discover intense fulfillment when they do.

How To Become A Social Worker: Faqs

Ques: How to become a social worker affordably?

Ans. After BSW try to find out if there are any stipend programmes for certain specialities – mainly in Child Protective Services Social Workers, severe and chronic mental illness or work with children. These programs often require that you work 2 years for the local, county or state government and for each year they paid your tuition, expenses and a stipend.

Ques: How difficult is it to pass the certification to become a social worker?

Ans. To pass the certification to become a social worker is not tough but not so easy. Diligence, hard work and tenacity to attain the theoretical knowledge as well as the required skills and values through practising in the field is the secret of becoming a social worker.

Ques: How to become a social worker without BSW?

Ans. You can avail of MSW with a UG degree in Social Science. Also, for a real-life practice in the field of social work, you can work as a nursing assistant, psych tech, domestic abuse counsellor, alcohol and drug counsellor in a paid position.

Ques: How to become a social worker without going to a university?

Ans. To become a social worker without going to a university is possible only with volunteer works with disadvantaged populations, like the poor, incapacitated and disabled. But to get a paid position you will be needing academic degrees in social work.

Ques: How to become a social worker if I don’t have a bachelor degree in sociology or psychology?

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Types Of Social Workers

Social work careers can be divided into three umbrellas: micro, mezzo, and macro. Esther Gillies of the USC School of Social Work states micro social work is mostly with individuals, mezzo work is generally for families or organizations, and macro social work focuses on widespread issues across communities or the nation. However, the three are profoundly interconnectedthough social work jobs may predominantly involve one of these types, most social workers frequently find themselves crossing over into all types.

For example, if your job is considered a micro social work position in which youre working with an individual, you may need to bring in your clients family members to fully understand whats happeningtransitioning the task to the mezzo level. If you discover the problem youre working on extends not just to the family, but beyond, you may need to petition and advocate for better resources for their community as a wholemacro social work. Conversely, those who predominantly work at the macro level may need to work one-on-one with community members on occasionnot to provide full services, but to get on-the-ground knowledge about the issues theyre tackling. Your work may go back and forth between the three areas to best assist your client.

Below are just a few examples of careers in social work and the type of social work that is most typical for each:

Social Work : How To Become A Social Worker

Frank speaks about being an Army Social Worker

Infographics by Hannah JohnsonMost people drawn to a career in social work have a desire to help those in need. Social workers serve the community by helping people solve and cope with problems in daily life. Clinical social workers may also diagnose and treat mental health conditions, behavioral problems, and emotional issues, similar to therapists and counselors. Just as social workers can take on many different roles in their field, there is no single route to a career as a social worker. If you are considering a career in social work, be sure to educate yourself in order to determine the best option for you.

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Careers In Military Social Work

Military social workers can support military personnel before their deployment, during their service, and as they transition back to civilian life. They can also counsel and support veterans, as well as the spouses and children of military personnel. Additionally, social workers in this field can help military personnel and their families navigate the process of applying for financial, health, education, housing, and other benefits.

Military social workers may have different responsibilities, depending on their level of education, licensure, and place of employment. For example, licensed clinical social workers who specialize in military social work can provide mental health therapy to their clients, including diagnosing certain emotional, psychological, and psychosocial disorders, and developing and implementing mental health treatment plans. Non-clinical military social workers may focus on providing support to their clients before, during, and/or after they fulfill their military service by helping them find resources in their community and through the government, connecting them to support services, and helping them set goals and manage their relationships. Military social workers can also work at the macro level to advocate for better support and services for service men and women.

Responsibilities Of A Military Social Worker

Veterans and active-duty service members turn to military social workers for help dealing with psychological and emotional disorders, child abuse, addiction, domestic violence or thoughts of suicide. Military social workers may provide individual and family counseling, crisis intervention, support for families of active-duty service members, and debriefing after critical events. Those serving in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps can receive counseling for psychological disorders such as depression, anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder . Military social workers today may address the emotional affects caused by World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the War in Afghanistan, the Iraq War, as well as conflicts in Somalia and the Persian Gulf.

Military Social Workers may work within the Department of Social Work, the Community Mental Health Service, the Family Advocacy Program and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Program to develop and implement disease prevention and health promotion programs. They may also participate in or lead research into social issues such as pre-deployment and post-deployment resiliency, comprehensive healthcare, and transitioning to civilian life. Military social workers may also assist in the training of medical personnel.

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State And Local Government

Children and Family Services Help families through struggles with finances and relationships, work with children who are involved with the foster care system, and find resources for victims of human trafficking

Criminal Justice Work with the court system to ensure there is equity in law enforcement, help individuals rehabilitate, and provide expert witness testimony

Health and Human Services Help people with disabilities or other challenges get access to resources and navigate the welfare system

Public Libraries Help patrons find jobs or disability resources

While your best option for finding jobs at the local level is to search specifically within your local governments websites, USA.gov provides an easy way to find many of the available local jobs.

Doctors offices Handle reports of suicidal thoughts or issues like abuse or assault

Emergency rooms and urgent care clinics Provide services to people who are injured due to abuse or assault and help those who are ill because they cant afford traditional doctor visits

Hospitals Ensure those with illnesses and injuries have access to resources to help pay for care, help them find appropriate rehabilitation or hospice services, and investigate possible abuse

Retirement and nursing homes Ensure elderly people are receiving proper support and care

Army Social Worker Job Duties

Chasing Work Story: Government regulations make it hard for social worker to work

U.S. Army social workers are expected to provide clinical counseling to soldiers and their families, as explained by MSW Online. They also provide a variety of crisis intervention services. Part of an Army social worker’s job is to enhance the readiness of assigned units and the emotional well-being of soldiers and their family members. Army social workers see a variety of cases, ranging from combat stress-related issues to personal family crises. As an Army social worker, you’ll serve in many different clinic positions and in the field.

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Military Social Work Specialization

As a military social worker, you would be responsible for connecting family members with these resources. Even more importantly, you would assess their needs and determine the best selection of services to keep the family unit as functional as possible in the absence of the service member. After and before deployment, these organizations are still very active in their support.

The military social work specialization is an exemplary stage for the social worker to develop and display the skills inherent to the overall trade. Social workers in this area must combine research-based interventions, counseling, advocacy, and mental health training in order to serve this diverse population.

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