08 Jul 2018

What is Social Work and what are the perks of its license?

What is Social Work and what are the perks of its license?

“Is social work a bachelor’s degree?” or “Aren’t Social Workers the ones who give dole-outs during calamities?” These are just some of the common questions people ask when hearing the term “Social Work”, but really, what is Social Work?

1. Does someone need a license to practice Social Work?

Yes, one should have a license to practice Social Work.

On June 19, 1965, R.A. 4373 commonly known as The Social Work Law was enacted and approved. This law professionalized the practice of Social Work, providing for an annual Licensure Examination for Social Workers.

It has specified that only a diploma holder of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Social Work can take the licensure examination.

Furthermore, it has concretely defined Social Work as “the profession which is primarily concerned with organized social service activity aimed to facilitate and strengthen basic social relationships and the mutual adjustment between individuals and their social environment for the good of the individual and of society by the use of social work methods.”

These methods are:

1. Casework Method – represents micro-level of helping or basically the individual way of helping
2. Group Work Method – represents the mezzo-level of helping or working with the groups
3. Community Organizing – represents the macro-level of helping or helping the community at large

2. What will I do after I pass the Licensure Examination for Social Workers?

In the Philippines, the demand for Social Workers is high as their knowledge and expertise are needed in a wide-range of settings.

After passing the LESW, one may be employed in one or more of the following
fields or employment settings for Social Workers:

1. Child and Family Social Work – Here social workers help children, families and the elderly work toward resolving their problems. Services include adoption, foster care, guardianship, as well as connecting struggling parents with resources to help better care for and raise their children such as scholarship programs, programs for solo parents and senior citizens.
2. Medical Social Work – Social workers here can be found in public/private hospitals or other health-related settings. Services include providing access to public resources, counselling such as in family planning, coping with the effects of illness, nutrition classes, and nursing care. Medical social workers basically help clients to navigate and coordinate the numerous health care and public service systems.
3. Mental Health Social Work – Social workers in this setting provide services such as therapy, counselling, formulation of rehabilitation programs for long-term mental health care and preventive programs to locate people in need and address problems before they become dire.
4. School Social Work – here social workers work with students and teachers to address school problems such as bullying, learning disabilities, aggressive behaviour, truancy and family problems, which affect the students’ performance.
5. Forensic Social Work – Social workers here can be found in jails, prisons, courts and NGOs that one way or another, provides services related to legal issues and litigation, both criminal and civil such as child custody issues, separation, divorce, neglect, termination of parental rights, child and spousal abuse, juvenile and adult justice services, corrections, and mandated treatment such as diversion programs and rehabilitation programs all fall under this kind of social work.
6. Corporate Social Work – in this setting, corporate social workers take on many roles, from helping employees manage the demands of work, life and mental health issues to helping companies build positive relationships with their communities through philanthropic activities.

3. What are the advantages or perks of being a Social Worker?

1. Salary
Based from latest data of Payscale, a research-based website which provides information about salary, benefits and compensation information, a Licensed Social Worker in the Philippines earns an average of 200,000PhP to around 400,000PhP yearly.
2. Employability
In the Philippine setting, the demand for social workers are high. Social workers have a variety of fields to choose from. They can work in schools, hospitals, nursing homes and even the military.

On a global scale, overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.
3. Benefits
On April 11, 2007, R.A. 9433, an act providing for a Magna Carta for public social workers provided for a variety of benefits for public social workers such as in the aspects of promotion, allowances, leave benefits, working hours and overtime pay.
Finally, based on research and surveys, Social Work is among the top professions that offer significant personal rewards. Social workers take pride in knowing they are helping others cope with life’s difficult problems and finding solutions.

In line with this, the Carl Balita is now offering a review program for the SWLE. Contact the CBRC branch near you for more details.

Research & Study by: Paramisuli Aming, RSW

Writer: Joyzee Ranara

Editor: Radge Cabral