A Day in the Life of a Social Worker

What does a social worker do, and how is their work relevant to our United Way?

We have all likely heard of a social worker or have come across one in our life. Social workers help individuals experiencing complex and intricate psychological issues through proven practices and attainable solutions; some work on creating long-term solutions to underlying sociological problems impacting communities.

Social workers themselves are as diverse and unique as the people and situations they tackle. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S. They can be found in various fields and specializations such as psychology, education, or medical practice. There are currently 720,000 social workers in the U.S., with that number expected to grow above 800,000 by 2030.

To commemorate National Social Worker Month, we asked some of the social workers at United Way of Broward County what a day in the life of a social worker looks like from their perspective.
 

What led you to become a social worker?

“Once I returned to the United States after serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay (92-94), I began working in refugee camps in Cuba and Panama. I found the work to be so important and meaningful, not just for those I served but in my own life, that I decided this was my career path. And, here I am today trying to assist in providing technical assistance, program evaluation, and program planning to support Broward County’s social service community and the goals, mission, and vision of United Way of Broward County.”
– Stephanie Scott, Ph.D., MSSW | Senior Director, Research & Program Planning
 

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a Social Worker?

“There are many rewarding aspects of being a Social Worker! Being a part of the solution for identified community needs, meeting and getting to know clients from all walks of life and working in collaboration with other social services agencies.”
– Mabel Colón, MSW (she/her/hers) | Choose Peace/Stop Violence Program Manager
 

In your role at United Way, how do you support other Social Workers in our community?

As the Choose Peace/Stop Violence Program Manager, I work closely with teachers, counselors and social workers in the school district. Working collectively allows for the sharing of ideas, knowledge and resources. Choose Peace/Stop Violence is a county-wide violence prevention collaborative in Broward County. Our mission is to educate, engage, inspire and empower youth to take action and bring about positive change for the purpose of preventing youth crime and violence, and creating safe, healthy and thriving environments for children and families.

– Mabel Colón, MSW (she/her/hers) | Choose Peace/Stop Violence Program Manager
 

What are some ways to observe National Social Worker Month?

VOLUNTEER! It is important to learn what vulnerable populations’ needs are and their challenges in getting those needs met. We are all one step away from needing help ourselves. Through volunteering and listening to people’s stories, we become empathetic beings who see those we serve as just what they are… multi-dimensional human beings who are complex and may need a little or a lot to get to where they want to go. This empathetic ability serves us well, not just as funders, but as active members of the community.

Also, to celebrate our work… ADVOCATE for fairness, equality, and equity in policy, resources, and programming. Through advocacy, we can ensure that systems do what they need to and strive to do. Because we can always do better.
– Stephanie Scott, Ph.D., MSSW | Senior Director, Research & Program Planning

 

What is one thing you want people to know about the field of Social Work?

I want people to know that social workers are trained in many areas of peoples’ lives with social problems. Social Workers with a master’s work for two years in internships and classes before they go out to work in the field. They are qualified and have the experience to help others.
– Rafis Nin, LCSW | Local Outreach for Suicide Survivors (LOSS)


We honor all the social workers in our community working to make Broward County a better place for all!

 

 

 

Category
Commission on Behavioral Health & Drug Prevention
Community