9th Aug, 2011 | Source : CSWE
The profession of social work seeks to enhance the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. Professional social workers are employed in many diverse settings, including public social service, medical, voluntary, and not-for-profit organizations. The focus of social work services includes such areas as mental health, aging, child welfare, school social work, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, addictions, disabilities, and genetic counseling. At the master’s level, professional social workers specialize in areas such as community organizing, public policy, management of human service organizations, and clinical social work. Many clinical social workers establish private practices.
A career in social work involves the worker in activities that improve and enrich the lives of others, in turn ensuring a continuous challenge and an abundance of personal reward. Social workers comprise a committed and continuously engaged professional community. The personal satisfaction associated with a social work career can be profound.
Even in the current economic environment, employment opportunities for social workers are significant. Growth in the field is expected to exceed that of the average of all occupations through the end of this decade. Job growth in certain specialty areas such as aging, military social work, medical social work, substance abuse, school social work, and public health is even more robust.
Founded in 1952, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredits social work programs at the baccalaureate and master’s levels. Accreditation provides assurance to the public that educational programs meet the quality standards associated with excellence in the discipline. The process involves periodic and rigorous examination of all aspects of a social work program’s operations associated with effective professional social work practice, including admissions, program management, curriculum, faculty qualifications, resources, and student learning outcomes. The process involves extensive self-reporting by qualifying programs and review by peers in the higher education social work community. At present CSWE accredits 473 baccalaureate and 209 master’s level social work programs and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as the sole accrediting body for social work education in the United States.
Individual states administer licensure for U.S. social workers. Licensing requirements differ in each jurisdiction. In all but a very few instances, a degree from a CSWE accredited program is a prerequisite for licensure eligibility.
If you have any questions about accreditation, contact CSWE by e-mail (). For a searchable listing of accredited social work programs, visit the Online Directory of Programs at the CSWE website (www.cswe.org).