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Social Worker

Significant Points

This series includes positions which require application of a professional knowledge of the principles and practices of social work in the performance of such assignments as providing direct services to individuals and families, including work with individuals in groups. Also included are positions concerned with teaching social work, doing research on social work problems, training of social work students, and providing consultation and advice to members of related professions and community organizations on social work questions.

Nature of the Work

Most of these positions are thought of as engaged in professional casework in the specific sense that their first purpose is to provide direct social work services to individuals and families. The term "casework" is used in this particular sense to designate practice associated with service to individuals and families as distinguished from methods of problem solving and prevention associated with group practice, work with community organizations, administration, consultation, research, etc.

Social work is oriented to professional practice and is primarily concerned with individual cases rather than with social problems as abstractions. Its knowledge and skill are applied to helping individuals and families find satisfactory ways of coping with their social situations and relationships. This concern is at the root and core of the historical values and professional identity of social work.

Research in social work is focused on producing valid and generalized knowledge for social work practice. The area of this research centers on the social functioning of individuals and families. It may range from studies of specific aspects of the methods and techniques used in social work practice to studies of a variety of social processes involving the individual and his environment. This research is for the purpose of improving professional practice.

The social worker's problem is one of finding suitable means to help individuals and families whose immediate situation creates more stress than they can deal with effectively. The stress to which an individual is exposed and his resources to cope with it are the elements that the social worker must consider in helping the client arrive at a practical solution of his problem. Minor deprivations can create serious problems for those who are particularly vulnerable, e.g., the socially handicapped and those who are young and helpless or debilitated by age or illness. Ordinary pressures of living may cause acute problems for markedly vulnerable personalities. Individuals with superior resources (e.g., intelligence, education, motivation, family support) can often deal with circumstances that are of themselves marginally critical (e.g., loss of income, illness) without outside help. Some situations (e.g., separation from a child) are likely to be critical for anyone, regardless of resources.

The social worker's professional practice is apt to be concerned with the welfare of people who are exposed to deprivation involving considerable risk of personality damage or emotional involvement which requires particular caution to prevent or minimize destructive consequences. It often involves finding practical accommodations to the demands of living for individuals with modified capacities. Clients who have been conditioned by long and serious deprivation may be incapable of using practical assistance or community resources to solve their problems unless they are supplemented by rehabilitative services and the interest, concern, and guidance of personalized counseling. Highly individualized services may be necessary for personalities that are too demoralized, alienated, psychologically isolated, etc., to benefit from conventional supportive measures (too discouraged to follow suggestions, if not unwilling to entertain them, etc.).

The normal pattern of professional social work includes interviewing people to establish the nature and extent of their problems, helping them work out plans for improving the situation, providing assistance and services, referring them to community resources and other organizations as indicated, and assisting them to understand and modify their own patterns of behavior when appropriate.

Broadly speaking, there are three major phases of activity that make up the action sequence of the casework process, namely: (1) identifying the problem, (2) deciding appropriate action, and (3) providing indicated services. In practice, the whole information-decision-action sequence is integrated into continuous operating activity. In social work literature, these steps are often called study, diagnosis, and treatment.

In the initial factfinding step, the social worker explores with the person concerned both the pertinent facts in his case and the significance he gives to them. The interview is used to establish facts about the situation, its nature, cause, components, and impact, while at the same time learning enough about the person affected to understand correctly its present and potential consequences to him.

Once the problem is seen clearly and accurately assessed, the second step is planning appropriate action. Based on the facts at his disposal, his knowledge of agency and community resources, and his appraisal of the probable responses of the people concerned, the caseworker makes the initial and continuing decisions that determine the content and direction of agency services. This decision step is concerned with establishing what the social worker considers it is necessary to try to accomplish with the client, and how he plans to go about it.

The casework process culminates in action to provide indicated services, authorize benefits, make referrals, give advice, guidance, emotional support and other assistance to program beneficiaries consistent with agency objectives. The service often involves leading the client or members of his family to air and explore repressed feelings, consider new and different ideas, and reexamine choices and their consequences so that they can identify and redirect actions that would be destructive to themselves and others.

A continuing element of casework is the purposefully therapeutic relationship through which the social worker sustains the client during their joint engagement with his problem.

The same professional concepts, principles, and techniques are used by social workers regardless of the program in which they work, but the circumstances and details of assignments and the immediate occasions of service differ among the various social welfare programs of different agencies. Some representative assignments of social workers in programs concerned with designated groups of people are as follows:

In programs for the protection of children, social workers are assigned to investigate reports of harmful conditions affecting their welfare, provide casework services on behalf of children and their parents in their own homes, evaluate suitability of foster home and adoption applicants, place children in institutions, foster homes, or adoptive homes and furnish continuing casework services to children who are wards of the agency and to their families.

In programs of service to juvenile court cases, they are assigned to conduct social studies on complaints filed on juveniles, evaluate social factors and recommend disposition of cases, supervise juveniles on probation, and furnish continuing casework services for probationers and members of their families.

In programs of service to patients in hospitals, field health stations, and clinics, they evaluate and make known to medical staff social factors relating to illness, hospitalization, diagnosis and recommended treatment of patients, carry responsibility for social work aspects of integrated treatment programs, and furnish continuing social work services to patients and their families while they are learning to live with illness or disability of a family member.

In programs of service to Indians living on reservations, they provide continuing casework services for Indian individuals, families, and children; consultation and assistance to tribal courts. They work with tribal councils and community groups to facilitate the development of programs on the reservation to meet identified problems.

In programs for the rehabilitation of inmates of correctional institutions, they develop personal histories of new inmates, evaluate social factors related to their adjustment in the institution and in their outside environment, and make reports in connection with pre-sentencing investigations. They make recommendations to classification committees for changes in the inmate's program and activities and provide continuing casework services to inmates in connection with personal and family problems and pre-release planning.

In programs of public assistance, they evaluate social factors and recommend disposition of cases of clients with complex social problems related to deprivation and furnish casework services to clients on a continuing basis when they are unable to make use of agency and community resources without personalized guidance and support.

Social Worker, GS-0185-07

Nature of the assignment

GS-7 social worker positions usually represent initial assignments for new professional workers whose preparation has not included supervised training in the methods of practice to be regularly used in carrying out the assigned duties. Social work assignments at grade GS-7 are the exception rather than the rule because social workers usually choose positions that involve methods of practice in which they have concentrated their field practice during graduate study. In typical assignments at this level, emphasis is on providing practice in casework methods and a variety of casework services are performed under close supervisory guidance and control for training.

At this level the social worker conducts interviews with clients, relatives, and others to obtain pertinent information to be incorporated in the social case history as background for planning indicated services, develops initial tentative conclusions as to appropriate services, and carries out such services as may be authorized by the supervisor. During interviews, the social worker gives information to the client, answers factual questions, and gives explanations and interpretations of agency policies and procedures that concern the client.

The results of each interview are discussed with the supervisor to examine the significance of facts secured, including any questions of their reliability, to examine the validity of the worker's impression of the behavior and motivations of the people interviewed, and to identify any clues the worker may have overlooked or any personal bias that may have influenced him. The worker is expected to draw conclusions and to make recommendations for appropriate agency action with reference to cases he works with. Recommendations are discussed thoroughly with the supervisor before conclusions as to appropriate services to clients are confirmed. These discussions involve consideration of consequences of various courses of action, expectation of their effect under the circumstances, variations in client response to such action, and finally the supervisor's reasons for his decision to concur in or modify the recommendation from his own knowledge of the background of such cases and his experience with similar problems.

At this level the social worker may carry out definite services that can be approved in advance as appropriate, as in helping newly assigned residents understand and accept the routine of an institution.

Note: These assignments are similar to the closely supervised practice performed for training by graduate students while they are working in an agency during field placement.

Social Worker, GS-0185-09

Nature of the assignment

GS-9 positions are characterized by substantial professional responsibility for providing social work services which are actively supervised when they involve performance of difficult services in complicated cases, and are performed under relaxed supervision with considerable independence of action when they involve conventional services in cases of limited difficulty.

All professional work at grade GS-9 presents a definite need for effective use of a variety of social work skills and the exercise of informed professional judgment in the process of assisting clients to face their problems, think them through, evaluate the situation realistically, consider alternative courses of action in relation to their needs and circumstances, and arrive at plans for using their resources to deal with the situation. Many positions at this level combine difficult services performed under continuing supervisory guidance with routine professional work performed under relaxed supervisory control. Independence of action, alone, will not take a position out of grade GS-9 when the content of the assignment is limited to relatively conventional professional decisions and services.

Assignments at this level normally include a fairly representative cross section of the cases dealt with by the agency. Work typically involves services to clients with a variety of psycho-social and environmental problems. Assignments are usually made in terms of continuing responsibility for providing social work services as required in a designated subdivision of program operations, such as to patients or wards or inmates in a related group of housing units or quarters or to residents of a section of a city or a reservation or similar administrative segment of the agency's operating services. Work is subject to active supervisory control and review through regularly scheduled conferences, with particular attention to those aspects of more complex cases which are recognized as unusually demanding.

The GS-9 social worker makes an independent evaluation of the client's situation, including the client's reaction to it and ability to deal with it, and arrives at a reasoned conclusion as to the preferred course of agency action that is indicated in the case from a social work point of view. However, at grade GS-9, social workers work within some limitations as to the difficulty of services that would be undertaken and decisions implemented without prior consultation with the supervisor for his concurrence.

For example, when the client is in the care or custody of an institution where decisions as to changes in his status are made by a responsible staff committee to whom the social worker makes recommendations, the supervisor would usually review the social worker's assessment of the case and his recommendations for client treatment to insure that conclusions drawn were appropriate and fully substantiated before the social worker presented them to the committee for action. In assignments of experienced social workers, as described at grade GS-11, considerably more independence of action is expected in making recommendations of this serious nature.

GS-9 social workers are normally required to work with complex cases and to make difficult decisions based on exercise of professional judgment in such matters as deciding what in a client's way of dealing with his situation is the best that should be expected under the circumstances, when compensatory behavior and limited insights should be left undisturbed as necessary defenses in coping with day-to-day problems, and whether positive benefit can be realistically expected as a result of changes in attitude and perspective. The worker must know what to look for and be able to explore and clarify pertinent facts and attitudes when misleading information is given by clients with limited understanding of their circumstances and feelings. Except for professional judgment, precedents for appropriate action are ambiguous and their application assumes considerable knowledge of the nature of normal and abnormal behavior, the causes and consequences of deprivation, the undermining, stabilizing, and strengthening factors in social circumstances and interaction, and the cultural and psychological implications of family disunity, unemployment, illness, delinquency, functional illiteracy, etc.

Cases often involve services to clients who require support and guidance in dealing with their problems to avoid serious personal difficulties when effective reinforcement can help the person make more constructive choices and overcome obstacles through increased ability to recognize, accept, and come to grips with his own situation.

In establishing and maintaining suitable relationships with those they serve, incumbents are responsible for effective use of professional skill, objectivity, and insight. Clients may be seeing a social worker because they are required to, and be completely antagonistic, indifferent, or evasive. It is the responsibility of the GS-9 social worker to deal constructively with both positive and negative reactions, understand disparate values, and reach clients from different social backgrounds and ethnic groups, communicate confidence in their ability and worth, and help them deal with their problems.

Supervision is normally exercised through regularly scheduled conferences and review of records, reports, and correspondence. The supervisory conference is for the purpose of discussing difficult or problem cases, evaluating effectiveness of work, and providing guidance as the need is indicated. By questions, suggestions, and explanations, the supervisor enables the worker to make a more penetrating assessment of cases with implications he has not grasped and to see the appropriateness of a different conclusion than he first proposed. The supervisor maintains rather close operational control of decisions and services when the worker is dealing with serious problems demanding unusual skill and judgment, but allows freedom of action to the social worker at this level in the relatively routine activities of professional practice.

Social Worker, GS-0185-11

Nature of the assignment

GS-11 positions involve intensive social work services requiring the exercise of mature professional judgment and the flexible use of a wide range of social work skills. This level represents performance of services in serious and complicated cases with demonstrated effectiveness based on sufficient training and experience to require a minimum of supervisory control and guidance and permit independent exercise of authoritative judgment. GS-11 social workers carry full professional responsibility for cases presenting a wide range of psycho-social and environmental problems with no limitations as to the difficulty of services that would be performed.

Illustrative of such difficult cases are situations involving sociopathic personalities and family groups who react to their circumstances with impulsive behavior that may be self-destructive or depredatory. Such a person may be a delinquent, a source of family and child-rearing problems, or a center of disturbance and deterioration in school and neighborhood groups, etc., because of his chronically defective behavior. Such personalities are hard to reach and the problems around them are difficult to deal with and challenge social work methods and techniques of bringing individuals to want and use help in achieving self-satisfying and socially satisfactory lives.

At this level, the social worker makes independent professional decisions and recommendations for agency actions that can have serious impact on the life of the person served, as, for example, in separating members of families, approving adoptive parents and placement of children, placing delinquents in protective custody, recommending placement of a patient in a nursing home rather than return to his own family, etc. When recommendations of this serious and problematical nature originate with incumbents of lower grade positions, they are normally reviewed by the supervisor in advance of action, as described at grade GS-9.

The responsibility for reaching independent conclusions as to appropriate action can make exceptional demands on the worker's professional judgment when consequences to the client are serious and results are relatively unpredictable. Client situations are often complicated by conflicting needs that are difficult to resolve even by highly individualized planning. For example, when a social worker is called upon to decide whether a child is in need of protection and should be removed from the home, or whether keeping the family together and providing supportive services can achieve the child's best welfare and greater common benefit to the family, the social worker's responsibility for recommending appropriate actions tests his understanding of parental motivations involved. His conclusions will depend largely on his considered professional judgment as to whether or not, for example, neglectful and abusive behavior of the child's parents makes it unsafe for the child or whether parental response to him can be modified and redirected with the child in the home.

Techniques of service that are involved in the effectiveness of social work practice at this level frequently demand highly developed professional skills, as, for example, in motivating a psychiatric patient with a marginal adjustment toward resuming more effective control of his own life through a therapeutic relationship with the worker, or through insights gained in group therapy led by his peers with the social worker's oversight and guidance.

In GS-11 assignments, difficult professional services to clients with serious problems are not an incidental part of the workload but are regularly performed on a continuing basis with infrequent recourse to supervisory guidance. The supervisor is kept informed of the progress of the work and is available for consultation on substantive problems. The GS-11 social worker is accountable for identifying problems that should be brought to the attention of his supervisor, and for taking the initiative in determining that the supervisor should be consulted and the purpose of the conference. Some consultation is primarily to help the worker maintain perspective under the day-to-day impact of seriously troubled clients and the limitations of his own and the agency's resources.

GS-11 social workers may have responsibility for independently giving interpretations of case histories to judges of courts and members of boards, for presenting case studies at conferences of staff teams for their use in reaching decisions as to indicated medical, correctional, or psychiatric treatment, and for making recommendations that can be relied on for soundness of judgment and maturity of insight on problem cases.

GS-11 social workers characteristically participate actively in program planning and in the development and maintenance of public understanding and sound working relationships with local agencies and community resources. They assume responsibility for coordination with teachers, clergymen, lawyers, physicians, and representatives of other disciplines who are concerned with the same client or group of clients. Also typical of assignments at this level is the presence of responsibility for the exercise of initiative in community relations work involved in influencing public attitude and action toward employment, home care, social acceptance and support of clients who are parolees, members of different ethnic groups, released psychiatric patients, etc.

As assigned, GS-11 social workers supervise the practice of social work students placed in the unit for training.

Some assignments at grade GS-11 are positions of social workers who spend a significant amount of time in direct performance of social work typical of grade GS-11 as described above, and concurrently supervise the work of one or two less experienced social workers. Such positions normally do not have significant program management responsibility.

Also included at GS-11 are assignments involving responsibility for providing continuing social work services at a field location alone or with one or two subordinate social workers or social work associates without a supervisor available for consultation. Such assignments typically involve travel in an assigned territory and require extensive coordination of service with a wide range of residents of various communities such as local lawyers, physicians, and public officials, and with local social agencies.

Social Worker, GS-0185-12

Nature of the assignment

GS-12 social worker positions are of two general types, namely (1) supervisory positions that include full technical and administrative responsibility for the accomplishment of the work of a unit of three or more subordinate professional workers when the base level of work supervised fully meets the description of grade GS-11 in this standard; and (2) positions which are classified at this level in recognition of program responsibilities which are significant enough to justify grade GS-12 with or without the presence of professional subordinates.

Illustrative of positions of the second type are:

-- those of social workers in charge of the social work program at a separate installation or similar organizational component where they are responsible for development and maintenance of professional standards of service, initiating and effecting changes in methods that will promote efficient practice, and coordination of social work services with other programs of service to the same group of clients. Such positions typically are responsible for representing the social work program at conferences and in contacts with other agencies and the public. Work is subject to regulation and procedural direction from the program directors in the central office of the agency and to the local management control of the directors of the institutions such as hospitals and clinics and correctional institutions.

-- those of social workers responsible for serving various beneficiary groups scattered over a large geographical area when assignments include direct social work practice in cases with complex problems, organization of community services on behalf of beneficiaries, development and coordination of procedures for the use of these community services by related staffs and satellite facilities, and development and maintenance of working relationships and agreements with other organizations having responsibilities for the same groups of people.

Basic responsibility for a program of social work services does not justify classification at grade GS-12 unless there is substantial accountability for program effectiveness, modification of service patterns, and promoting acceptance of the social work function. As distinguished from positions at grade GS-11 which are responsible for providing continuing social work services at a field location, positions classified at grade GS-12 on the basis of program responsibilities characteristically combine program development and evaluation with service functions.

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Training requirements within this industry vary greatly based on occupation, state licensure requirements, and the setting in which the work is done. Many workers begin in this industry by working as a volunteer. Volunteering with a student, religious, or charitable organization is a good way for jobseekers to test their interest in social assistance, and may provide an advantage when applying for jobs in this industry. However, for many occupations, a bachelor's or master's degree is required for entrance into the industry.

Professional and related occupations. Entry requirements vary based on occupational specialty and State licensure and certification requirements. A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement for entry-level positions as social workers, health educators, and counselors. However, some specialties and employers may require additional education, like a master's degree, or some previous experience. In some settings and specialties, social workers, marriage and family therapists, and counselors may be required to obtain a State-issued license. Licensure requirements vary from State to State, but most States require a master's degree and 2 years or 3,000 hours of supervised clinical experience.

Educational requirements are less stringent for social and human service assistants. Some employers do not require any education beyond high school, but they may prefer some related work experience. Other employers favor workers who have completed some coursework in human services, social work, or another social or behavioral science. Other employers prefer an associate degree or a bachelor's degree in human services or social work. A number of employers also provide in-service training, such as seminars and workshops.

Professional workers in this industry often advance to a supervisory position, such as supervisor, program manager, assistant director, or executive director. Often, advancing to this level requires a master's degree and the appropriate licenses. Some workers opt to move away from positions that provide services directly to clients and become involved in policymaking, grant writing, or research. Others enter private practice and provide psychotherapeutic counseling and other services on a contract basis.

Service occupations. Service occupations within this industry require little to no education beyond a high school diploma. Personal and home care aides receive some basic on-the-job training. The Federal Government has guidelines for home health aides whose employers receive reimbursement from Medicare. These workers must complete both a training program consisting of a minimum of 75 hours and a competency or state licensure program. Training includes information regarding personal hygiene, safe transfer techniques, reading and recording vital signs, infection control, and basic nutrition. However, aides may take a competency exam to become certified without taking this training. At a minimum, 16 hours of supervised practical training are required before an aide has direct contact with a resident. These licensure requirements represent the minimum, as outlined by the Federal Government. Some States require additional hours of training to become certified.

Workers in service occupations may opt to get some additional training and may advance to, for example, licensed practical nurse. Some personal and home care aides may opt to open their own businesses.

Employment

Psychologists held about 170,200 jobs in 2008. Educational institutions employed about 29 percent of psychologists in positions other than teaching, such as counseling, testing, research, and administration. About 21 percent were employed in healthcare, primarily in offices of mental health practitioners, hospitals, physicians' offices, and outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers. Government agencies at the State and local levels employed psychologists in correctional facilities, law enforcement, and other settings.

After several years of experience, some psychologists—usually those with doctoral degrees—enter private practice or set up private research or consulting firms. About 34 percent of psychologists were self-employed in 2008—mainly as private practitioners.

In addition to the previously mentioned jobs, many psychologists held faculty positions at colleges and universities and as high school psychology teachers.

Job Outlook

Job opportunities in social assistance should be plentiful, because employment is expected to grow rapidly, and many workers leave the industry and need to be replaced.

Employment change. Employment within this industry is expected to grow rapidly relative to all other industries through 2018. The number of nongovernment wage and salary jobs is expected to increase 40 percent, compared with 11 percent for all industries combined. However, growth will not be evenly distributed amongst the industry's subsectors (table 3). The individual and family services industry is expected to grow by 48 percent, making it one of the fastest growing industries in the economy. The community food and housing, and emergency and other relief services industry is expected to grow by 22 percent and vocational rehabilitation services is expected to grow 25 percent over the 2008–2018 projection period.

Growth of employment in the social assistance industry may depend, in large part, on the amount of funding made available by government and managed-care organizations. Employment in private social service agencies may grow if State and local governments contract out some of their social services functions in an effort to cut costs.

Projected job growth in individual and family services will be due mostly to an increase in the population that will demand additional services from this sector. As baby boomers age, there is expected to be a substantial increase in the elderly population, one of the primary segments of the population that requires services from this industry. As a result, there should be an expansion in programs that serve the elderly, such as adult day care or services that provide home care, allowing the elderly to remain in their homes for as long as possible. Furthermore, the demand will increase for drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs, as those with drug and alcohol addictions are increasingly required to attend treatment programs—rather than being sent to jail.

Growth in the community food and housing, and emergency and other services industry will result from an increase in urbanization. As the population becomes more densely populated and if natural disasters hit these populous areas, more people will be affected by natural disasters, increasing the demand for disaster relief. Furthermore, demand for housing and food assistance will remain steady.

Employment growth in vocational rehabilitation services is expected, due to a steady demand for services for individuals with some form of physical or mental disability. Workers in this sector will continue to serve people who are injured on the job and need assistance moving back into the work environment. But the main source of growing demand for this sector is the expected increase in the elderly population, which frequently uses services provided by this industry to recover from illnesses or injuries.

Some of the fastest growing occupations in the Nation are concentrated in social assistance, like home health aides and personal and home care aides. Employment growth for these two occupations is driven predominantly by the need to provide services to the elderly and ill in their homes and to avoid expensive hospital or nursing home care.

Job prospects. Besides job openings arising from employment growth, many additional openings will stem from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations or stop working. Workers leave jobs in this industry at a higher rate than the rest of the economy, making job prospects excellent.

Earnings

Industry earnings. Average earnings in the social assistance industry are lower than the average for all industries, as shown in table 4.

Table 4. Average earnings of nonsupervisory workers in social assistance, 2008

Industry segment

Hourly

Weekly

Total, private industry

$18.08

$608

 

Social assistance

12.47

375

Community food and housing, and emergency and other relief services

14.72

466

Individual and family services

13.13

394

Vocational rehabilitation services

12.45

360

SOURCE: BLS Current Employment Statistics, 2008.

Wages in selected occupations in the social assistance, except child day care industry appear in table 5. As in most industries, professionals and managers commonly earn more than other workers, reflecting higher education levels, broader experience, and greater responsibility.

Table 5. Median hourly wages of the largest occupations in social assistance, except child day care, May 2008

Occupation

Individual and family services

Community food and housing and emergency and other relief services

Vocational rehabilitation services

All industries

Social and community service managers

$25.01

$24.23

$24.40

$26.92

Mental health and substance abuse social workers

17.26

16.02

15.64

17.89

Child, family, and school social workers

16.56

15.80

16.22

19.01

Community and social service specialists, all other

15.67

15.09

14.58

18.11

Rehabilitation counselors

13.60

14.85

13.97

14.87

Social and human service assistants

12.62

11.94

11.50

13.12

Office clerks, general

11.31

10.72

11.08

12.17

Personal and home care aides

9.77

10.50

9.58

9.22

Home health aides

9.48

9.43

9.71

9.84

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

9.41

10.34

9.45

10.31

SOURCE: BLS Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2008.

Benefits and union membership. Professional workers in this industry typically receive benefits, such as medical insurance and paid time off. However, those working in service occupations may receive no benefits. About 8 percent of workers in the social assistance industry were union members or were covered by union contracts in 2008, as opposed to 14 percent throughout all industries.

Related Occupations
Sources of Additional Information

For information about careers in social work and voluntary credentials for social workers, contact:

For information on programs and careers in human services, contact:

  • Council for Standards in Human Services Education, 1935 S. Plum Grove Rd., PMB 297, Palatine, IL 60067. Internet: http://www.cshse.org
  • National Human Services Assembly, 1319 F Street, NW., Suite 402, Washington, DC 20004. Internet: http://www.nassembly.org
  • National Association for Home Care & Hospice, 228 Seventh St. SE., Washington, DC 20003. Internet: http://www.nahc.org

For information regarding jobs in nonprofit organizations and voluntary credential information, contact:

State employment service offices also may be able to provide information on job opportunities in social assistance.

Information on obtaining Social Worker positions with the Federal Government is available from the Office of Personnel Management through USAJOBS, the Federal Government's official employment information system. This resource for locating and applying for job opportunities can be accessed through the Internet at http://www.usajobs.gov or through an interactive voice response telephone system at (703) 724–1850 or  (703) 724–1850  or TDD (978) 461–8404 and   (978) 461–8404. These numbers are not toll free, and charges may result. For advice on how to find and apply for Federal jobs, download the Insider's Guide to the Federal Hiring Process” online here.

Sources:

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition; and
  • Office of Personnel Management, Position Classification Standards.

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