Recently the following question has been posed to me:
I will also be going to graduate school next fall at Uconn for a masters in social work, but your mom mentioned you recieving your masters in a year. i wanted to ask you about that. How is that possible? And what are your intentions as an individual graduating with a masters in social work. (Andrew Smith)
Andrew, first of all- I am thrilled to hear you are seeking an advanced degree in social work. A quick purview of the American landscape should make it obvious that social workers are in great need. As a quick point of clarification for readers who may not be familiar with social work, let me quickly provide some context.
Social Work is a complex profession, at its core is the Code of Ethics (http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/Code/code.asp) that all social workers agree to abide by. The code is similar to the Hippocratic Oath that physicians take, in that it spells out what is acceptable behavior. For social workers, the code essentially affirms the value and dignity of all human beings, with a vow to respect self determination and never put personal benefit before that of the client. Combined with a mission of uplifting and empowering the poor, oppressed and vulnerable, Social workers are essentially “social change agents”.
Social Work exists on several, often intersecting levels- Micro, Mezzo, & Macro. Micro social workers are probably the most familiar to people- they are counselors, therapists and direct service workers in the areas of schools, hospitals, mental health, and all areas in society where people need social support. Macro social workers are focused on “big picture” social change- they are community organizers, lobbyist, advocates, and legislators. Mezzo social workers are a fuzzy point between the two and involved in community level social work.
To answer your second question- my career plans after graduation- I will start by saying I am a macro level social worker. Social justice is my passion (hence the name of this blog ^_^), and however vague this might be, I hope to secure employment where I will be able to positively affect policy as it relates to the poor, oppressed, and vulnerable. What does this mean? It means I could work on universal health care campaigns as I have in the past, it could mean that I advocate for fair housing, it might be that I direct a non-profit working to protect immigrant rights, it might mean I serve as an elected official- the possibilities are endless.
One of the blessings and curses of the profession is that you will always have job security- injustice will never be in short supply, and people will always need help in their daily lives. An interesting paradox is that I consider my job working to make my job unnecessary.
To answer your first question- by obtaining my Bachelor’s in Social Work, I was able to shave a year off of the Master’s of Social Work degree requirements. ^_^
I hope I answered your questions & if not please feel free to write again!
Take care & enjoy the blog ^_^
I would also invite any other social workers to edit my definition of social work, as well as share about their current career, or career goals.
Communism, death, letting people go. There are lots of solutions when you’re not looking through the lens of your “western rights of the individual” glasses
Nah, in all seriousness (even though my point is rather valid), there isn’t going to be a solution until the government isn’t out to make money. There isn’t going to be a solution until our governments stop being influenced by big companies and actually CARE about people, rather than keeping their position in government.
i would argue that communism is an imperfect form of socialism, which is an imperfect form of an ideal
however, you make an assumption in suggesting that i wouldn’t look at alternative political systems as a model for influencing the ability to effectively provide services such as health care, within our own system…
death & letting people go….true, i hadn’t considered these as policy options for solving the problem of health care. the only problem with that is, those deaths are not randomly distributed- they are concentrated among the poor…so this option really says “survival of the fittest” which would realistically translate to “survival of those best able to exploit people and manipulate laws”
i was born in america & have not had the opportunity yet to travel outside of the country (although I may be going to india next year to do comparative research on health care systems), so it is hard for me not to look through “my western lenses” ^_^
i try to be well read and consider a wide range of viewpoints- it just happens, after careful consideration i usually find mine to be the most valid (suprise! :P)
i agree with you on the bit about the government needing to not be influenced by corporations if our health care system is going to improve. it seems as if the government functions to protect their interests…not the interests of the people
i would disagree that their is no solution- it may require strife to get there, but i think there is a way
Like it or not, the answer to AIDS is contraception. FREE CONDOMS. In both third world countries and other places that cannot afford contraception.
The AIDS virus keeps mutating so it stays alive, and has therefore been impossible to cure. Imagine if we had been able to give that guy who sexed a monkey some condoms; we wouldn’t have this problem today. However, we didn’t have condoms then. But we have them now, and should make full use of them. Prevention of the AIDS virus spreading is necessary, not just extra funding and definitely not just education about sex.
I agree that prevention is a crucial part of the AIDS response. I would also add that additional funding needs to be put into research of medications. Further, the health infrastructure of Africa needs to be improved, and a drop in the price of medications needs to occur voluntarily.
“…burning thought on your mind? Need to get out a rant? Want to comment on something…”
Yes. I have. Fine. First let me count the number of buring thoughts, 1,2,3,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I really don’t know when i would stop. Fine, let me stop counting and look at the first one.
#1. Developed Nation’s citizens respect their countrie’s law OR just because the citizens respect their nation’s law their nation became a developed one? (you are getting my point)
you have an answer? Do you? Well i’m sure none can conclude on that.
YOu know what, my fellow citizens praise Gandhiji (hope you know him) and keep saying that he is the Father of our Nation but then when i follow his thoughts even my friends, my dears, my.. everyone call me a fool. They say i dont know to survive/live. YOU know what, they think ‘survival of the fittest is also for human beings’
Oh here i go, problem no. two,
#2. is ‘survival of the fittest’ also applicable for human beings?
I can keep on saying. Well people here wuld keep on calling me a fool meanwhile. Thats the way it is here. probabily everywhere. Because “ITS A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD”
In fact most of the socail problems are interlinked. In fact they are interlocked.
I can keep on saying.. its endless… I hate living with these people/devils.
may be i wil soon come up with a post on this topic in my blog
on observation #1:
Gandhiji was a great man, although more commonly known as Gandhi in the USA (not sure why). It is hard to live a life in his example, and I’m not sure it is possible to be so completely selfless as he and others like Mother Theresa. I think people like them are rare, and it can be deeply depressing to try to live up to their example & inevitably fail (i speak from experience). However, if that is your decision, I believe your intentions speak volumes about your soul.
on number 2:
“survival of the fittest” is unfortunately the law of all animals on this earth. however, as beings capable of compassion, I believe it is important we rise above this and instead push for the rights and survival of all
sup young bro, i love when im done being goofy and reviewing hip hop i can click on ya page and enlighten myself. on a serious note you provoke intelligent thought and conversation which is a balance, for me at least.
as every person know that developing countries like india need more funds and more social worker as in india it is very tough to be a social work because its a low paying job and poverty and insecurtiy is so common that its common.i simply wana ask k why should person in developing countries should join social when even he is not able to get his own three time food a day and a good living condition
I recognize what your point is here: why should someone struggling on their own to get by, sacrifice themselves even further to do social work that likely won’t significantly improve their situation.
I can appreciate that sentiment and would say the following:
1- my initial statements about the social work profession on this page, where domestic in nature. i am by no means familiar with social work in india- how it is similar or dissimilar to social work in the usa, or how its compensation/rewards compare
2- perhaps a person in a developing country who feels that a social work profession would not enable them to achieve their life goals, should not pursue that profession. generally social work is a calling from somewhere, and it is possible to answer that calling without making social work your career.
3- that being said, i recognize that engaging in service to others, or advocacy for others is a luxury afforded to those who can afford to get by on the income generated from such activities alone…
4- i would hope that social workers from around the world move to join international social work occupations in increasing numbers so that the global wealth distribution can be more equitably attended to…
5- whatever it is you decide to do, or whatever situation you find yourself in, I hope that things will improve for you, and I wish you the best.
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