Social Work Myth Busters

1) All of the workers in social service are known as social workers.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Someone who is a social worker has gone through some very extensive training to get their bachelor, master, or doctorate in the field of social work. They are licensed after they receive their degree. Volunteers and employees can be social workers, but they have to have their degree as well as their license.

2) Psychiatrists and psychologists give the best counseling.

The truth is that most of the services for mental health is given by the social workers. If the area is very rural or very poor, a lot of times the social workers are the only professionals in mental health who are available.

 3) The majority of social workers work with CPS or welfare recipients.

Unfortunately, this is one of the biggest myths. Social workers are found in a lot of areas, including schools, the courts, hospitals, police departments, centers for child advocacy, adoption agencies, shelters, centers for family counseling, and centers of mental health. The majority of federal and state employees that administer social services like welfare aren’t social workers. There are even social workers who hold a public office.

4) The majority of social workers are in government jobs.

The truth is that less than three percent of the social workers have jobs in federal agencies; and the people who are getting their pay from local, federal or state governments? Only about a third of them.

5) There’s no specialties in social work

Again, this is another big myth. The majority of the social workers choose specialties and stick in that field. School, family, and child social workers strive to help make the lives of kids and families better, and to assist them with doing better in their school as well as society. Some of the social workers work with the adoption agencies and work to locate foster homes for children who have been abused or neglected. Sometimes they are employed by schools and help with things like truancy, problems with behavior, and teen pregnancy. They give the teachers advice on working with students who are troubled. Some of the social workers are specialists in working with elderly patients. Social workers who are in medicine help people that have terminal, acute, or chronic illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s, AIDS or cancer. They work together with caregivers, patients, and families, and help with arranging for services at home. They also act as a liaison between government agencies and patients. There are social workers who are specialized in substance abuse, such as drug, alcohol, or tobacco.

6) Everyone with a kind heart can work as a social worker.

If only this was true. The truth is that the work is difficult and stressful and you need to have specific skills in order to be able to deal with it. You need to do more than be able to love people and be nice to them. You have to be a leader and you have to be qualified.

7) Social workers meddle

They don’t have time to meddle. They don’t wander around looking for trouble. Anytime someone talks to a social worker it’s because they requested it or there was someone who thought they would benefit from it. The truth is that they lead very busy lives.

8) You will lose your children when you work with social workers

A social worker doesn’t want to take your children away and they are going to do all they can to make sure that they stay with you. Everything is going to be done to improve the situation so that the children can stay. The only time that they are taken away is when they are in a lot of danger.

As you can see, there are a lot of myths that are associated with social workers. Now that you know the truth about them, it’s a good idea to share the truth and dispel the myths about them. Social workers are there to help people and not to punish them. They do everything that they can to make the lives of the people they come into contact with better.