74% of social workers work in the health and social services sector and 19% work for the government. The aging of the population will lead to good job opportunities in the private sector, particularly in gerontology and home care services. There are also many openings for social workers who want to work in rural areas or as addiction counsellors.
Social workers are therapists who help people who are unable to resolve their family, professional or personal difficulties. They also intervene with support groups and with communities and associations who help each other meet their needs.
Social workers have the possibility of working in a great number of professional environments (hospitals, children’s help centres, community health centres, schools, etc.) with many bridges between them.
- Study the nature and scope of the client’s problems (individual, family, community).
- Assess needs and determine the type of services required.
- Develop an adapted intervention plan.
- Guide clients towards appropriate professionals.
- participate in the tasks of a multidisciplinary team.
- Investigate harm done to children and take the appropriate measures.
- Carry out file-related administrative tasks.
EDUCATION AND JOB REQUIREMENTS
A bachelor’s degree in social work is required to be a social worker.
Possessing a master’s degree in social work generally provides more latitude in terms of job opportunities.
Having a PhD opens the doors to teaching at the university level or to research.
- Be knowledgeable as regards communication, interpersonal dynamics and group processes
- Be familiar with techniques to assess sensory motor skills, socio-affective and cognitive capacities
- Know how to “read and understand” economic, socio-cultural and sociological problems
- Know the administrative and legal procedure to be carried out
- Understand how the associative fabric and the health and social services support network works
- Listening skills and ability to forge connections
- Deep respect for other people and their values
- Independence and judgment
- Time and priority management skills
- Teamwork skills
Social workers can work in related fields such as couples or family therapy. Students with a master’s degree can do research, teach or work in social planning.