What does a clinical social worker do?

There are many clinical social work jobs available for those who are talented and highly trained to work in ways that provide care to those who need it. A career in clinical social work is so diverse that you may be better off trying to understand what they don’t do rather than what they do. In broad sweeping terms, clinical social workers work in a large number of areas identified with those individuals in need, diagnosing various mental health issues that may exist. As well as identifying problem areas they also attempt to find support services that can be tapped to promote recovery of the individual or an entire family network.

Rather than try to explain what a clinical social worker does it may be easier to explain the training that they need to get clinical social work jobs. Most of these professionals have a master’s degree in social work and have spent at least two years as an intern. At the end of all this they must sit exams before they can be granted a license which gives then the designation of LCSW (licensed clinical social worker). Different jurisdictions may have different demands but those noted are typical.

There are a number of different areas a clinical social worker can work in once licensed. There are those who work in the medical field performing their duties in hospitals where they can assist with the care of patients coming in and going out of the facility, they design discharge strategies and identify areas of concern once the patient has been discharged. In many cases the social worker sits in meetings with the affected family and offers private counseling.

Others may work in specialty environments such as drug rehab and treatment centers or mental hospitals. In these and other similar settings the clinical social worker can play a vital role in counseling patients and helping them to develop a plan for their life once they leave the facility. In many cases the family plays an integral part in the life of the patient once they discharged and the social worker often addresses this through group counseling. A diagnostician is very important in drug treatment facilities as drug use and mental illness often go hand-in-hand.

Clinical social work jobs also include child protective services as well as family mental health services. In these areas the social worker will assess the health needs of families, determine what intervention is required and negotiate with other agencies that can provide care and assistance to children and families in need.

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