Showing posts from March, 2015

Demand For Social Workers Expected To Grow

As I was watching the news recently, I saw this segment on the social work profession.  Nice to see the profession get some non-negative publicity, but I felt the need to repost this video to address some inaccuracies and lack of clarity.

Demand For Social Workers Expected To Grow « CBS Chicago

My thoughts:

1) Where I live, most entry level social worker jobs require a masters degree, though a BSW is sometimes acceptable. Typically, psychology and sociology degrees are NOT acceptable, though I've seen them in case worker and counselor positions. This profession really needs to work on getting some title protection in place, because it's degrading to have non-social workers doing work meant for and done best by people with social work degrees.

2) Anyone with a BSW and MSW can diagnose patients and provide interventions, therefore performing the function of what this report calls "clinical social worker". I mean, I was diagnosing patients as an MSW intern and my BSW …

The Price of Sanity

Some of your wonder how I manage to shop, travel, and save as much as I do with a social worker salary. One reason is that I work in the medical social work field, which pays higher than other social work fields. The second is that I live at home. As someone in my early 30s, this is frowned upon by society. However, 1) I come from a culture that expects their kids to live at home until marriage and 2) I live in the Bay Area, where a number of my friends also live at home because of high housing prices. This is the same place that has apartments so expensive that you might as well buy a castle.

Everyone who knows me knows that I've been trying to move out of my parents' house for several years, while at the same time attempting to maximize my retirement savings. The first few years, I started looking apartments only to be discouraged by rental prices. I then entered the home buying market, only to get outbid by upwards of six figure (all cash) offers each time. Now, housing and…

Becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)

Several weeks ago, one of my bosses offered to supervise my hours for free if I ever decided to pursue my social work license.  While I've been out of grad school for nearly 5 years, I've pretty much brushed the thought aside until now because I didn't have a supervisor and didn't want to pay upwards of $120/session (totaling over $12,000 for 104 one-hour sessions) for sessions from another LCSW.  Especially when getting an LCSW actually does not guarantee a pay raise and I could be in a completely different field in the next few years!

However, the offer to supervise my hours and incorporate supervision into my work day definitely changed things. I always viewed the benefits of social work licensure as being able to gain knowledge, become a more competent practitioner, open a private practice, and work from home (if/when I burn out).  Of course, I'd also use the credential to self-advocate for a pay raise! Knowing that free supervision doesn't come around that…

VA Social Worker Mocks Veteran Suicides

Last night, I came home from work to find this article trending on my Facebook feed: VA manager's email mocks veteran suicides. Disappointingly, I've found little discussion about this situation among social worker blogs and social media groups. As much as I've hardened myself against negative media attention, I was extremely bothered and angered by the actions of this particular social worker. When one of our own violates our Code of Ethics and embarrasses the entire social work profession, it's something that SHOULD be discussed and examined.

To summarize, the article discusses the outrage over a work e-mail sent by a licensed social worker managing the Seamless Transition Integrated Care Clinic at the VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. In the e-mail, sent over the holidays, an elf is pictured in the following scenarios:
One photo depicts the elf peering between the legs of a female doll. "Trying his skills as a primary care provider (doing a pap)," the ema…

Social Work Month 2015

Happy Social Work Month!  Even though I've never been a fan of "months" that are meant to raise awareness of certain issues, I guess I'll dedicate one post to Social Work Month. I mean, why must a particular cause be reduced to a one month time span? Why not focus on providing education and awareness of the social work profession year round? Given common misconceptions of our profession within the media and society in general, we could use some advocacy 365 days a year!

This year's Social Work Month motto is "Social Work Paves the Way for Change". While all professions have the capacity to help others, the social work profession is unique in that they, as per the NASW Code of Ethics, are specifically mandated to promote societal well-being by addressing social problems and challenging social injustice. Social work is as much about advocacy as it is intervention as we employ our skills in counseling, case management, community organizing, leadership/admi…