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Oswego Career Ladders - Social Worker

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Social Worker



Oswego County Department of Social Services


Years in this Position:
7 1/2 years

Bachelors in Sociology, and MSW

Job Description:
Working with Familes and Children in a Social Services Agency providing mental health and substance abuse resource assistance.

What I like best about my job:
Keeping children safe.

Advice I would give to someone interested in this job:
Know your community resources.

Industry: Healthcare
Area: Mental Health

Social workers help people function the best way they can in their environment, deal with their relationships, and solve personal and family problems. Social workers often see clients who face a life-threatening disease or social problem. These problems may include inadequate housing, unemployment, lack of job skills, financial stress, serious illness or disability, substance abuse, unwanted pregnancy, or anti-social behavior. Social workers also assist families that have serious domestic conflicts, including those involving child or spousal abuse.

Through direct counseling, social workers help clients identify their concerns, consider effective solutions, and find reliable resources. Social workers typically consult and counsel clients and arrange for services that can help them. Often, they refer clients to specialists in services such as debt counseling, childcare or eldercare, public assistance, or alcohol or drug rehabilitation. Social workers may review eligibility requirements, help fill out forms and applications, visit clients on a regular basis, and provide support during crises.Many social workers specialize. Some common areas of specialization include: child welfare or family services (counsel youths who have difficulty adjusting socially); child or adult protective services (investigate reports of abuse and neglect, and intervene if necessary); mental health (provide services for persons with mental or emotional problems); health care (help patients and their families cope with illness); school (diagnose students. problems and arrange needed services); substance abuse (counsel drug and alcohol abusers); criminal justice (make recommendations to courts and provide services to inmates, parolees, probationers, and their families); occupational (work in a corporations personnel department); gerontology (specialize in services for senior citizens); social work administrators; and social work planners and policy makers.

Work Settings

Social workers practice in a variety of settings. In hospitals and psychiatric hospitals, they provide or arrange for a rangeof support services. In mental health and community centers, social workers provide counseling services on marriage, family and adoption matters, and they help people through personal or community emergencies, such as dealing with loss or grief or arranging for disaster assistance. In schools, they help children, parents, and teachers cope with problems. In social service agencies, they help people locate basic benefits, such as income assistance, housing and job training. Social workers may also operate a private practice.


While a bachelors degree is the minimum requirement, a masters degree in social work or a related field has become the standard for many positions.

Job Outlook

21 percent increase over the next 10 years


Average annual salary $20,000 - $50,000.

Work Schedule

Standard 40-hour week; some occasionally work evenings or weekends.

Skill Requirements

People skills

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