What does a clinical social worker do?
“Clinical Social Worker” is actually a title that encompasses a wide range of jobs. However, the basic responsibilities are the same across the board. The main goal of a Clinical Social Worker is to direct people towards the help they need. Those needs vary widely, but some examples are drug and alcohol treatment, mental health assessments, assistance with housing, a job, or financial aid.
If you’re a Clinical Social Worker, you might work at a mental health facility, a community clinic, or a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, to name a few. You might also specialize in one group of clients, such as the elderly, children, the addicted, or the mentally ill.
On a typical workday, you see patients and perform an initial assessment. This means you ask questions about their health history, drug use, feelings, and current concerns. The answers to these questions help you determine the best resources for their situation.
If you work at an inpatient facility, you use the resources within the facility, such as counseling, group therapy, or medications. You facilitate a treatment plan based on the client’s needs, and continually record the patient’s progress. When the patient is stable enough to leave the facility, you provide a list of resources, such as job opportunities, financial assistance applications, housing referrals, and long-term counseling.
It takes a lot of dedication and devotion to get into and stay in this job. Many of your patients will continue to struggle even with your help. But when they do pull themselves up and thrive, you are more than rewarded. And it’s all because you dared to care.