The Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) is the national representative body of social workers in Australia who set the industry benchmark with their Code of Ethics and Practice Standards. The demand for health care and social services is projected … I also appreciated the fact that the course taught us skills – we studied social work methods, case work, and group work and community development as separate subjects – which we could take into future employment.’. Social work holds such broad opportunities for your future career, and equips you with the ‘soft skills’ that are becoming increasingly critical in modern workplaces, like person-centred practice and professional … Then my husband and I decided to start a family. The average salary for a Social Worker in Australia is AU$66,935. Most graduates begin their social work career in service delivery roles working directly with clients. Then a terrible event occurred. ‘A friend disclosed that she was sexually abused by an adult male when she asked him for some food. While studying my degree, I took on board the opportunities for self-reflection and self-knowledge that were very seriously encouraged. The AASW respectfully acknowledges Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians, and pay our respects to Elders past and present. … In those pre-computer, expensive long-distance phone call days, I asked her in a 12-page letter what the difference between psychology and social work was.’, It was her answer that clinched the deal for Shirley. I felt so fulfilled that I was able to help this family.’, ‘I decided to do social work because I wanted to continue to help people who are suffering in one way or the other.’. Amber says it is satisfying to know as a new graduate that she can assist people from all walks of life, at all developmental stages, in a range of different practice contexts. We asked our members why they became a social worker and here are some of the responses we received. International social work is a global field of social work that crosses international boundaries to help people in need. Due to the very different judicial systems, Diane had to start her career all over again. Typically people meet with a social worker when they’re facing a personal challenge they haven’t yet been able to overcome on their own. E: membership@aasw.asn.au, Level 7, 14-20 Blackwood St A career as a mental health counselor, or any type of counselor, is likely a good alternative career for social workers as these counselors work to help people navigate through their problems and hard life circumstances/decisions. He is now a hard working, professionally accredited and registered social worker with 25 years’ experience and a background in mental health and criminal justice social work. ‘Little did I know my orientation to counselling would become the strong community development and feminist/anti-oppressive framework that remains today,’ she said. ‘I was one of the first he told,’ Josie said. Men in social work: In fact, early attempts to professionalize social work sought to remove empathy and emotion, so that it would be more business-like and standardized: “there was an attempt … A Comparison of Social Work and Human Services Here’s a quick guide to help you understand the differences between the two areas of study and practice, as well as some career paths … I could not take it off my mind. School social work is also very rewarding, but beware that it's mostly case management and developing coping skills as opposed to in-depth therapeutic interventions and root cause analysis. In other words, social workers touch on key social justice issues, such as … Some work as clinical psychologists. Why is social work a good career? Initially, Shirley said she decided on social work because of her life experience of personal suffering and hardship, and knew she loved ‘people work’. Anyone who I have supervised can attest to my obsession with reflective practice.’. ‘Social work as a profession is rich in diversity and offers many different rewarding careers. He found the experience very humbling. ‘This led me to undertaking training as a social worker.’. Social work might be a great career choice for you! ‘It is the principles that underpin social work that continue to direct my day-to-day practice and I hope the leadership I have provided to multi-disciplinary teams. That being said, a career in social media marketing isn’t all retweets and double-taps – there is a lot more to the job than meets the eye. With a world-class education system and exciting career opportunities, this … If you … My career now spans more than 30 years; while the work has been challenging and the social status and pay consistently low, it has been absolutely the right choice,’ Josie said. We serve in a most honourable profession where the needs of the client are preeminent and central to what we hope for their future.’, Gary says it is the obligation and duty of social workers to pass the values that attracted them to the profession to those who follow. The BLS projects social work jobs to grow by 13% from 2019-29. ‘For me they include being able to promote and advocate awareness of injustices in our society through our professional standards and also working with people, families and communities to promote positive change and address inequalities through advocacy.’. People blamed the young girl for going to meet him in his house. ‘I was astonished about how many individuals on the streets were developing a mental illness and this was not being identified as they were transient and not registered with a GP,’ Ron said. ‘I found more detailed descriptions about the role of social workers and realised that social work would be perfect for me.’. But we’ve certainly created a comprehensive list! In Australia, to work as a social worker, you will need a Bachelor of Social Work or a Masters of Social Work degree. You are currently: You’ll be expected to undertake further training in your organisation’s area of expertise, when you secure employment. ‘I thought that being a social worker may help me understand this tragedy and that it would also, in some ways, be involved in prison reform,’ Josie said, acknowledging that this sounds like the idealism of a 17 year old, which of course it was. ‘I was a Diploma nursing student when I witnessed an exchange between a professional and a client on a needle exchange program,’ Jenny said. Thanks Chris! and the dropout rate is well above average. Twice! This decision involved turning down a $20,000 scholarship she had been granted to continue her nursing career. Social workers can be found in the public, private and third sectors, and may work for themselves. The AASW reviews and accredits all social work degrees, to ensure graduates are trained to meet the professional standards of the industry. In my early primary years, I was always looking after other children in my class,’ she said. ‘I knew then my potential was with the psychosocial wellbeing of people and after reading up on the social sciences, I knew I needed to leave nursing,’ Jenny said. Once she started on the Master of Social Work course at Flinders University in South Australia, Diane said she realised the profession really suited her personality. Graduate Jobs, Internships & Programs in Australia. Shirley realised she also had a well-developed sense of social justice and natural tendency toward leadership and advocacy. ‘I saw an episode of Four Corners about Elsie, Australia’s first women refuge. They engage with and mobilise people to address challenges and improve their overall well-being. Not only is it good for your health to be in a career that makes you happy and respects your needs, but it’s also beneficial to your work environment, which in turn, benefits from higher productivity. An ex-boyfriend of hers murdered his mother. Taken directly from the AASW Code of Ethics 2010, there are three core values that social work is based on: To practice social work, you must have completed a social work degree including field placements. ‘It was an exciting time, with enthusiastic lecturers and the wonderful, inspiring Norma Parker as head of school,’ Annabelle said. Shirley Peppler ‘In 1985 I … Ron worked with clients experiencing a range of issues, such as drug and alcohol problems, domestic violence, mental illness and people subject to the criminal justices services. Others work in related healthcare fields, such as social work. ‘I knew that social work could provide the necessary theory and practice insights to strengthen and promote supportive student wellbeing structures that I and my staff wanted to implement in a school setting.’, ‘This led inevitably to my completion of postgraduate studies in welfare and social work. Social work is a career that will see you out on the front-line of social change. Mum had a five month old baby and could not breastfeed her because she had not eaten and could not produce milk,’ Winifred said. ‘I was lucky that this worked well for me and I had a pretty good job for a while. Social workers help to protect vulnerable children and adults from harm or abuse, and support people to live independently. "Within a career in social work, you play an essential role in the bigger picture of how our society treats its most vulnerable people." ‘It was during this time I became my own counsellor, and although nothing could stop the profound grief, the education I was receiving provided a deep understanding of the experience,’ Jenny said. Ultimately, developing flexible and adaptable skills to assist others is why she became a social worker. ‘I enjoyed the vast difference in practice between the settings and have come to realise there are endless opportunities of practice contexts to explore in my new career.’. ‘I could not proceed for the financial benefit even though I was caring for my chronically ill husband, and chose a study path that would take three times longer to complete with no financial incentive.’, ‘Logically it was a decision that did not add up, but I needed to follow the inner voice.’. > About AASW > 70th Anniversary > Meet our members > Why I became a social worker. 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