2016 - Year Lecturer Mary Dillon was named Social Work Educator of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers, Central Unit Chapter
Spring 2016 - Launch of MSW online option
School of Social Work
College of Health and Public Affairs
University of Central Florida HPA I, Suite 204 12805 Pegasus Blvd. Orlando, FL 32816-3358
Social work offers a wide variety of professional options.
Social workers interact with people of all ages and community
settings. They help families to cope more effectively, individuals
to conquer problems with addictions, older adults to face difficult
losses and life changes, and children to deal with family and
school problems. They also work with organizations to support the
community. In addition, they serve as counselors, group leaders,
advocates, case managers, administrators and other roles.
Nature of Social Work
work is a profession for those with a strong desire to help people,
to make things better and to make a difference. Social workers help
people function the best way they can in their environment, deal
with their relationships with others and solve personal and family
Social workers often see clients who face a life-threatening
disease or a social problem. They help individuals and families
cope with inadequate housing, unemployment, lack of job skills,
financial problems, serious illness or disability, substance abuse,
unwanted pregnancy, or antisocial behavior. Social workers also
assist families that have serious domestic conflicts or parental
and child problems.
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,
elder care, public assistance, or alcohol or drug rehabilitation.
Social workers then follow through with the client to assure that
services are helpful and that clients make proper use of the
services offered. Social workers may review eligibility
requirements, help fill out forms and applications, visit clients
on a regular basis and provide support during crises.
Social workers practice in a variety of settings. In hospitals
and psychiatric hospitals, they provide or arrange for 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. In schools, they help children's parents and teachers
cope with problems. In social service agencies, they help people
locate basic benefits, such as income assistance, housing and job
Full-time social workers usually work a standard 40-hour week;
however, some occasionally work evenings and weekends to meet with
clients, attend community meetings and handle emergencies. Some,
particularly in voluntary nonprofit agencies, work part time. Most
social workers work in pleasant, clean offices that are well lit
and well ventilated. Social workers usually spend most of their
time in an office or residential facility, but also may travel
locally to visit clients, meet with service providers or attend
meetings. Some may use one of several offices within a local area
in which to meet with clients.
Social workers held about 468,000 jobs in 2000. About 1 out of 3
jobs were in state, county or municipal government agencies,
primarily in departments of health and human services, mental
health, social services, child welfare, housing, education and
Most private sector jobs were in social service agencies,
hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and other health
centers or clinics. Although most social workers are employed in
cities or suburbs, some work in rural areas. The following shows
2000 employment by type of social worker.
Child, family, and school social workers (281,000)
Medical and public health social workers (104,000)
Mental health and substance abuse social workers (83,000)
Employment of social workers is expected to increase much faster
than the average for all occupations through 2008. The aged
population is increasing rapidly, creating greater demand for
health and other social services. Social workers also will be
needed to help the sizable baby boom generation deal with
depression and mental health concerns stemming from mid-life,
career, or other personal and professional difficulties. In
addition, continuing concern about crime, juvenile delinquency, and
services for the mentally ill, the mentally retarded, AIDS
patients, and people in crisis will spur demand for social workers
in several areas of specialization. Many job openings will also
stem from the need to replace social workers who are retiring.
For more information on starting your own career in social work,
considering reviewing either of the following titles available in
the UCF Library:
Colby, I., & Dzigielewski, S. (2010). Introduction to
Social Work (3rd. ed.). Chicago: Lyceum Books, Inc.
Grobman, L. (2005). Days in the Lives of Social Workers
(3rd. ed.). Harrisburg, PA: White Hat Communications.
Ginsberg, L. H. (2001). Careers in Social Work. Boston:
Allyn and Bacon. (UCF Library: HV10.5 G55 2001).
Simpson, C. (1999). Careers in Social Work. New York:
Rosen Pub. Group. (UCF Library: HV10.5 .S56 1999).
For additional information, please visit the UCF
Career Services website at www.career.ucf.edu/ or