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How to Become a Social Worker for Children

Career News August 27, 2013

Are you wondering how to become a social worker for children? This is a profession that can be extremely challenging, as a person must have a number of qualities that cannot be taught in school, to begin, a highly sensitive nature, yet able to be truly objective in situations. You must also have extremely well tuned listening skills, as well as a decisive nature. If this sounds like you then the next step you will need to do to pursue this profession is proper schooling.

Minimum Requirements

For entry level work, you will need at minimum a Bachelor’s Degree. Typically, the degree you are pursuing is called a B.S.W. or Bachelor’s Degree of Social Work. The requirements will depend on your employers, since some positions will other types of degrees such as sociology or psychology. If you already have a particular job in mind, you may want to find out their requirements beforehand.

Getting your B.S.W. degree typically takes four years. You will learn about policy and laws, as well as human development, human behavior theory, statistics for social work, and more. There is usually 400 hours of internship required for this degree.

Want to truly make a difference both in the world and your salary? Then, you will want to go after the M.S.W. or Master’s Degree in Social Work. This tends to be an additional two years of schooling and two years of internship. What is surprising to most is that you do not necessarily have to have your B.S.W before entering the master degree program in this field. Most schools allow you to have a bachelor’s degree in any type of related field. Although most jobs will be opened to you at this level, you can reach even higher by going after your Ph.D. in social work.

Licensing and Certification Later On

Once you have graduated, it is time to find out what the requirements are for licensing and certification in your state. For example, if you went to University of Maryland College Park and plan to work in Maryland, the state requires that you must be licensed by the Maryland Board of Social Work Examiners. You can get licensed either by completing an exam or by endorsement. If you need more information on these requirements check out the National Association of Social Workers, where you can find out all of the details you need based on the state.

Now it is time for the fun part, finding a job! Be sure to have a well thought out resume showing off your best abilities. As we mentioned at the start of this discussion, point out the natural qualities that you have that make you ideal for the job. Point out your interpersonal skills, your up-to-date knowledge, as well as your communication skills. There is a projected 20% increase in the need for social workers for children until 2016. Find a position you love, while making a difference in the lives of children. You know the necessary steps now, but only you can make the dream career your life’s path by pursuing an education in this rewarding field!

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