There many avenues of social work that a person can get into dependent on the scope of study and the amount of education that is required. Also, dependent on what type of social work a person chooses to get into can determine what long-term effects they can have on a child or a family’s life. As with any professional occupation there are certain licensing and certification requirements that must be met on a prescribed basis and follow on training to maintain certification. In addition, there are certain professional organizations that a person must remain in good standing with to keep credentials. Finally, there are certain codes of ethics that must be adhered to maintain confidentiality between patients and maintain professional standards of conduct. The code of ethics is also a guide when a professional is placed in a situation where they must determine what is best for all involved and not place themselves in a situation that could be career ending.
Child and Family Social Worker Child and family social workers, also known as youth and family social workers (Careers in Social Work, 2018) provide a wide range of case management services to support children by improving the functioning of their families to engaging support and supervision outside of the family. Each child is unique in needs they require and as a result there are many services offered. Most common services that are provided by child and family social workers are for parents and families that may need help in certain areas. Job placement, debt counseling, medical assistance, or even family therapy are a few examples of the types of help required. Clients may also need help with getting addiction treatment, or financial support assistance. Social workers may serve in many capacities such as a child advocate, a liaison between the child’s school, mental health providers, and even with medical professionals to help their clients get the help that is needed. Also, social workers help in the court system, or even be an advocate at a patient’s home. They can also may manage placements in residential treatment facilities and can assist in the management of adoptions for families.
They can be asked to seek supervised foster care services for their clients. Most child and family social workers work for local government agencies Departments of health and human services, Departments of children and families it also may be called Department of Family Services (DFS). This area of work may focus on the needs of families with adolescents and children in need (Careers in Social Work.) Licensing and Certification Requirements To peruse a career in child and family social work a person needs to obtain a Bachelor of Science in social work and dependent on positions on leadership require that a person obtain a master’s degree in social work. Once the degree of choice is obtained there is a licensing process that is required for each state. The process that is required for the state of Wyoming includes applying to the state once degree is obtained from an accredited institution that is Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) certified. Currently, the University of Wyoming is the only CSWE qualified institution in the state (Staff, n.d.) The next portion of the licensing process is applying with an associated fee to the state medical board along with personal references and professional disclosure statements. Next, an exam must be taken dependent on the degree that has been obtained. There is a charge for all testing and application.
Once the exam is passed a person will obtain their license to practice in the state of issue. Once issued, a license is good for two years and must be renewed before expiration as there is no grace period given. There is also 45 hours of continuing education that must be completed during the timeframe of the license being active that does not have any format or topic but should be related to the type of work a person is doing. (Staff,n.d) The code of ethics in Child and Family Social Work is a standard that is set by the National association of Social Workers (NASW) The NASW Code of Ethics is intended to serve as a guide to the everyday professional conduct of social workers. This Code includes four sections. The first section, “Preamble” summarizes the social work profession’s mission and core values.
The second section, “Purpose of the NASW Code of Ethics” provides an overview of the Code’s main functions and a brief guide for dealing with ethical issues or dilemmas in social work practice. The third section, “Ethical Principles” presents broad ethical principles, based on social work’s core values, that inform social work practice. The final section, “Ethical Standards” includes specific ethical standards to guide social workers’ conduct and to provide a basis for adjudication. (NASW Standards for Social Work Practice in Child Welfare, 2013) In conclusion to gain an edge in any profession you seek in counseling you should remember that the codes of ethics may never change for the filed, but the licensing and on-going education might, as well as the state or federal laws that govern it. always remember that as a professional, we need to keep up with what it takes to be the best we can be for our clients.
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