Category Archives: Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Best International Social Work Degree Programs Abroad?

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Considering international social work degree programs abroad can help you cast a larger net for finding the right training to heal human hurts across borders. Initially started in Amsterdam in 1899, social work spread around the globe from Europe to South America and Africa to right injustices. Staying sheltered in the United States won’t necessarily give you the same social work perspective as colleges abroad. After all, the U.S. holds $63.5 trillion of the globe’s $153.2 trillion total wealth according to Fortune. Getting ready to address the harrowing problems of poverty, disease, abuse, and conflict worldwide is best done overseas. Here are six of the best social work degree programs abroad where exposing students to international experiences is prioritized.

Alice Salomon University

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Founded by the German social reformer and IWF secretary in 1899, Alice Salomon University is an independent, vocational applied sciences institution located in the Hellersdorf district of Berlin. ASH Berlin offers a seven-semester, 210-credit B.A. in Social Work in German with an international emphasis, including one term abroad and a thesis. The M.A. in Social Work as a Human Rights Profession admits four-semester cohorts each April for 120 credits of full-time, hybrid online courses in English that address global strategies with vulnerable groups. The SWHR program costs €2640 per term for 75 diverse students from Syria to India and USA.

Learn more about Alice Salomon University’s Best International Social Work Degree Programs Abroad here.

University of Kent

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Endowed for £5.98 million, the University of Kentis a public, research-intensive beloff’s plate glass institution founded in January 1965 under Princess Marina that’s now educating 19,670 students in Canterbury, England. The Faculty of Social Sciences has a 94 percent placement rate after its four-year, HCPC-recognized Social Work B.A. Beginning in September, this TEF Gold program emphasizes international practice with 12 months spent abroad. Kent also awards a Social Work M.A. with second-year tracks for Adult Mental Health or Children and Families. The master’s includes the Global Skills Award Programme and 170 fieldwork days.

Learn more about the University of Kent’s Best International Social Work Degree Programs Abroad here.

University of Stavanger

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Belonging to the ECIU since 2012, the University of Stavanger is an interconnected, research centre that’s headed by Rector Marit Boyesen to teach 10,888 students on its Ullandhaug campus in Norway’s third-largest metropolitan. The four-term Nordic Master in Social Work and Welfare admits English speakers with 80 ECTS credits each March to prepare for globalized practice on-campus, at Umea University in Sweden, and at Aalborg University in Denmark. Partnered with Lisbon, Gothenburg, and Makerere, Stavanger also has the Erasmus Mundus in Social Work with Families and Children. This 120-credit, four-term thesis program includes international preparation at 25 study places in English.

Learn more about the University of Stavanger’s Best International Social Work Degree Programs Abroad here.

National University of Singapore

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Opened in 1905 as the King Edward VII College of Medicine, the National University of Singapore is a Southeast Asian independent, research-based IARU member of the GEM4 that’s serving 37,969 on its 150 hectares in Pasir Panjang, Queenstown. The Faculty of Arts and Sciences launched the Bachelor of Social Sciences in Social Work with a Human Services Minor in 1952. The four-year, undergrad option includes two 400-hour field placements in agencies domestic and abroad. The Master of Social Work has a 36-month, full-time timetable with Family/Community Studies or Health specializations, 800 practica clock hours, and at least one global exchange.

Learn more about the National University of Singapore’s Best International Social Work Degree Programs Abroad here.

Kingston University London

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Dedicated to “Advancing Through Science,” Kingston University London is a public, polytechnic research institute endowed for £2.3 million under Chancellor Bonnie Greer to instruct 20,885 students at its Penrhyn Road, Knights Park, and Roehampton Vale campuses. The Social Work BA (Hons) is taught in the HCPC-accredited, award-winning Practice Learning Suite for four-year undergrads to master a foreign language and tackle 170 days of fieldwork. The Human Rights BA (Hons) also won The Guardian Teaching Excellence Award. Adhering to the Professional Capabilities Framework, the Kingston Social Work MSW in Nightingale Centre offers a full-time, two-year or part-time, three-year track with five days of practicum weekly.

Learn more about Kingston University London’s Best International Social Work Degree Programs Abroad here.

University of Delhi

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Headed by the Vice President of India, the University of Delhi is a public, research-intensive central college opened in 1922 that’s now divided into 16 faculties to teach 132,435 students atop 28 hectares in New Delhi. The Delhi School of Social Work has 85 seats each year for its competitive practice-oriented, four-semester M.A. Social Work. Elective specializations are offered in Disability, Women’s Welfare, Youth Work, Correctional Services, Employee Relations, and Gandhian Social Work for the two-year, research-based M.Phil. Social Work. The Ph.D. in Social Work is another Delhi program open each January and July for advanced specialists to conduct dissertations in the Social Sciences Faculty.

Learn more about the University of Delhi’s Best International Social Work Degree Programs Abroad here.

According to HotCoursesAbroad.com, there are 659 institutions offering undergrad and/or post-grad social work degrees with cross-border opportunities. Other great schools dotting the social work map include the University of Leeds, University of Witwatersrand, University of Sydney, University of British Columbia, and University of Buenos Aires. The best international social work degree programs abroad will vary greatly based on your dream destination.

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The 15 Best International Social Work Degree Programs

What Qualifications Do I Need To Work In International Social Work?

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Citizens at every corner of our globe rely on social workers to tirelessly work at correcting poor living conditions and advocate for human rights. As of October 2017, our world is sheltering 7.5 billion people from the deserts of Eastern Africa to the rainforests of South America. The UN even predicts that population growth will surpass 11 billion by 2100. International social work is a growing niche where kind, compassionate practitioners trek across borders to address humanitarian crises. According to ASH Berlin, international social workers are “earthpeople” who protect others’ well-being regardless of nationality and race. If you’re yearning to contribute more to community betterment in foreign nations, the following are the steps for fulfilling international social work job qualifications.

Start With a Bachelor of Social Work

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International social work jobs virtually always mandate at least a Bachelor of Social Work, preferably from high-quality schools with CSWE accreditation. After your secondary school diploma or GED, you must enter a four-year college or university with a BSW major. Your curriculum sequence will include 120-130 credits, including general education courses like composition writing and world history. Upper-division juniors and seniors will then dig into social welfare policy, human ecology, sociology, anthropology, social justice, and more. Every accredited BSW comes with at least 400 clock hours of practicum at human services organizations. Since tuition can be expensive, BSW students should look for financial aid, such as the Cenie “Jomo” Williams Scholarship and more.

Broaden Your Global Cultural Knowledge

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Developing a global mindset is another of the biggest qualifications for international social work employment. Employers abroad want to see your experiences learning about and respecting other cultures because life can be very different outside the U.S. Your college years are an excellent time to go global by joining clubs that celebrate campus diversity. Take foreign language classes, especially in the widely spoken tongues of Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, and Portuguese. Jump on study abroad trips that will immerse you in another country’s culture. For instance, the University of Texas-Austin offers BSW majors the “Modernization and Social Change” course in Amman, Jordan. Taking voyages will also help you master the process of applying for visas.

Gain Domestic Social Work Experience

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Working abroad requires the same set of social work abilities and then some. BSW grads can begin applying for domestic jobs right after passing the Association of Social Work Board licensing exam. The United States is projecting a 15 percent uptick in hiring through 2026, so your social work opportunities are ballooning. According to the NASW, there are currently job openings at domestic organizations like Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Hanna Boys Center, Sonora Behavioral Health, Catholic Charities, Fred Finch Youth Center, and hundreds more. Many agencies overseas require four to eight years of generalist practice among their qualifications. Use this time to sharpen communication, analytical, problem-solving, and intervention skills before transitioning into international social work.

Consider Pursuing an International MSW Degree

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Although this qualification isn’t always required, getting a Master of Social Work can set you apart on the world stage. Universities increasingly offer International MSW program benefits that will deliver advanced specialist skills, satisfy LCSW licensing, provide added practicum, and open leadership doors. Already holding a BSW means you’ll also become eligible for Advanced Standing tracks of 30-42 credits for fast completion. The CSWE directory currently lists 21 degrees for international social work. These accredited graduate schools include Ohio University, Tulane University, Abilene Christian University, Fordham University, University of Connecticut, Washburn University, and Dominican University. Keeping your grades up is critical since the majority of MSWs require an undergrad GPA above 3.0.

Research Social Work Organizations Abroad

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Now’s the time to put your international social work qualifications to the test by applying to and interviewing with multinational service agencies. Social work jobs are most abundantly found at nonprofit organizations (NPOs) with specific humanitarian purposes. For example, the International Rescue Committee has over 8,000 employees who deliver lifesaving services after conflicts and disasters across Earth. Since 1946, UNICEF has provided emergency food, water, and healthcare to children in 190 countries with offices from Brussels to Tokyo. HelpAge International partners with AARP to specialize in curbing social issues impacting the planet’s elderly citizens. Research overseas organizations carefully to find which align to your aspirations and tailor your résumé.

Statistics from Global Issues paint a bleak world picture where 790 million people are undernourished, 1.6 billion live without electricity, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation. Children are particularly vulnerable with 2.2 million dying each year because they’re not immunized. The need for international social workers is tremendous from Ukraine to Vietnam and Ghana. Fast-growing job titles abroad include family reunification specialist, disaster response director, adoption coordinator, gender advisor, child welfare specialist, humanitarian affairs officer, refugee shelter administrator, and more. The right education, experience, and cultural competency are the universal qualifications to begin making a difference beyond borders in international social work.

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The 15 Best International Social Work Degree Programs

What are Child Welfare Certificate Programs?

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Social work majors seeking to specialize in youth protective services can benefit greatly from child welfare certificate programs. While earning Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) and Master of Social Work (MSW) degrees, students can select this add-on certificate for extra credits related to preventing and addressing child mistreatment. Child welfare social work is a certified concentration concerned with referring helpful resources to at-risk children, adolescents, and families. Social workers in child welfare manage youth caseloads to investigate threats like physical or verbal abuse, sexual assault, neglect, and addiction. Since 1980, federal funding under the Child Welfare and Adoption Assistance Act has supported Title IV-E training to address social work shortages. The following is a guide of everything you should know before pursuing child welfare certificate programs.

Typical Child Welfare Training Curriculum

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Child welfare certificates are competency-based training programs added to social work majors for in-depth knowledge on the unique needs of America’s youngest citizens. Most certificates will fill electives with 15 to 25 credits in child welfare. Coursework could delve into childhood development, family dynamics, neglect assessment, strengths-based case management, and child services policy. Child welfare certificate programs generally take one year full-time, including specialized field practicum. Carrying a social work GPA of 3.0 or higher is a common requirement for admission. Certificate training could come with a tuition waiver and stipend to lower costs. In fact, the NASW reports that states receive around $44 million via Title IV-E for child welfare workers.

State Certification in Child Welfare Social Work

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The biggest benefit of pursuing child welfare certificate programs is fulfilling state licensing for this specialty. Nearly all 50 states have designated qualifications for non-clinical social workers, including a BSW or higher, supervised experience, and a clean background check. However, several states have additional child welfare requirements due to the career’s extremely sensitive nature. Take for instance the Florida Certification Board, which credentials Child Welfare Professionals (CWP) and Child Welfare Case Managers (CWCM). The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is another example requiring child welfare workers pass the Certification Program. On the national level, certificate graduates could earn the NICWA’s Tribal Child Welfare Worker Certification for serving Native American youth.

Career Opportunities with a Child Welfare Certificate

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The Children’s Bureau reported that the number of children receiving a protective services investigation increased by 9 percent from 2011 to 2015. Of the estimated 658,000 young victims that year, 75 percent were neglected and 17 percent were physically abused. Therefore, child welfare certificate programs open in-demand human services careers. Most graduates will become child and family social workers, but titles like conservatorship specialist, child protective investigator, family case manager, adoption specialist, and behavioral counselor are also available. Some could be recruited as Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for abused or neglected youth. After graduation, jobs will primarily be housed in your state’s or county’s Department of Children and Family Services.

How to Find Child Welfare Certificate Programs

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Making the gratifying decision to enter child welfare social work can be carried out with a simple online search. Look toward Google or databases like the NCES College Navigator to narrow down child welfare certification programs nationwide. Prioritize accreditation, especially from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), for high-quality training. Other factors to consider are location, program length, curriculum, in-service fieldwork opportunities, financial aid, class size, and job placement. Selecting schools ranked for social work by authorities like us here at Special Education Degrees, the U.S. News and World Report, and College Choice could add prestige to your resume. Some great options (for example) include Michigan State University’s BASW Certificate in Child Welfare, Indiana University’s Child Abuse and Neglect Certificate, and the University of Pennsylvania’s MSW Child Welfare Specialization.

Child welfare certificates teach the best practices for improving the well-being of extremely vulnerable youth groups. Integrating the certificate into your BSW or MSW degree would be helpful because the BLS predicts that employment of child and family social workers will grow by 6 percent through 2024 for 19,000 new jobs. Child welfare social workers report an average annual wage of $46,610, or $22.41 per hour. Certificate programs will enhance your marketability for the social services sector while providing stipends that reduce debt. From finding foster placements for abandoned kids to addressing parental misbehavior, child welfare certificate programs are skill-building opportunities for social workers passionate about youngsters.

Related Links

The Top 15 MSW Programs For Child Welfare Careers
What is Child Welfare Social Work?

What Is Child Welfare Social Work?

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Social work is a diverse helping profession full of individuals seeking to enhance the lives of the vulnerable and neglected. Children are particularly defenseless in avoiding negative living situations without an adult advocate. That’s why child welfare social work has been an important and growing niche since the Child Welfare and Adoption Assistance Act of 1980 was passed. According to the NASW, 8 percent of their 90,000 members identify child welfare as their primary specialty. These child welfare social workers devote themselves to protecting children from harm. Practicing child welfare requires doing one’s best to build safe, loving environments with responsible parents for optimal child well-being. Determine if your skills are suited for child welfare social work by reviewing the following job profile.

Goals of Child Welfare Services

Annually, over 3.6 million referrals are made to child welfare agencies in the United States for abuse and neglect. One out of every 30 youth (nearly 2.5 million) are living homeless in shelters or on the streets. More than 415,000 children are in the foster care system for an average of 19.5 months. Child welfare social work focuses on assessing children’s living conditions and these problems to find resolutions for their best interests. Social workers in child welfare strive to provide actionable advice and resources for parents and guardians to positively improve kids’ safety. Every effort is made to ensure children’s physical and emotional well-being. Child welfare sometimes involves removing youth from dysfunctional, dangerous families and re-establishing better adult relationships.

What Child Welfare Social Workers Do

Child welfare social workers are responsible for investigating allegations of abuse, neglect, and maltreatment to locate children with poor living conditions. They look for warning signs when interviewing guardians, teachers, and school psychologists and inspecting the child’s home. For youth at low risk, social workers will work closely with the family to remedy problems with a detailed intervention plan. For example, the child welfare social worker may refer a struggling single parent to government assistance programs. They’ll continue making periodic home visits to ascertain whether progress is occurring. Efforts are made to keep children with their natural parents, but social workers may file for protective custody in high-risk situations. Child welfare social workers then help place youth in foster care and sometimes coordinate adoptions.

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Career Opportunities in Child Welfare

Making a difference on the front lines of child welfare is possible in several different social work roles. Child protective specialists will primarily respond to mandated reports of child abuse and neglect. Juvenile counselors protect the well-being of youth in custody of the family or criminal court system. Foster care specialists offer day-to-day direction for individuals who’ve volunteered as foster parents. Family case managers will oversee the entire process of successfully placing children in healthy, happy homes. Child abuse prevention specialists work to protect kids by giving positive parenting workshops to at-risk families. Social service assistants also help guardians connect to resources, such as food stamps and drug rehab.

Child Welfare Social Work Job Prospects

Child welfare social work jobs are often based in county, state, or federal government agencies like the Children’s Bureau . You could also search at nonprofit family service organizations, schools, group homes, adoption agencies, and even churches. New child welfare social workers are needed to intervene when children are living in deplorable situations, but budgets are tight. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts hiring will increase by 6 percent through 2024, which will spark 19,000 positions nationwide. The 294,080 child and family social workers already employed report a mean annual wage of $46,610, or $22.41 per hour. California, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Michigan have the highest employment level.

Training Requirements for Child Welfare Positions

Becoming a child welfare social worker will mandate holding at least a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) or similar bachelor’s degree, such as psychology or sociology. Programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education have earned the acclaim of employers. Participating in specializing training like the Title IV-E Child Welfare Training Program is suggested. An appropriate balance of coursework and field practicum is essential to fulfill initial LBSW qualifications. Many child welfare agencies are giving preference to social workers holding a Master of Social Work (MSW) though. This graduate training will satisfy states’ licensing requirements for becoming a LMSW for advancement. Clinical licensure also includes two years of post-master’s supervised experience.

The U.S. News and World Report recognized child welfare social work as the #8 best social services job, but there are pros and cons. The in-demand specialty allows altruistic individuals to alleviate children’s suffering and develop secure living environments where their needs are met. However, child welfare social workers work long hours juggling several emotionally draining cases for below-average pay. Child welfare social work is truly a vocational calling for perceptive professionals with good judgment, strong communication skills, complex problem-solving ability, and hefty doses of compassion. If this service-oriented career path fits your passions, consider applying to CSWE-accredited programs for child welfare social work.

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The Top 15 MSW Programs For Child Welfare Careers

Can I Receive College Credit for Social Work Experiences I Have Already Completed?

exStudents interested in earning a social work degree will benefit from both classroom theory and hands-on field experiences with actual case studies. If you already have work experience in this field, it is possible to receive some form of college credit for it in many cases. The exact number of work experience credits usually depends on your total years spent on the job, the policies of your college or university, and the level of degree you plan to complete. The following options may be open to you for this type of college credit.

Submitting an Academic Portfolio

Since social work courses are outside the scope of general education courses, credit by exam isn’t available for these classes. Some college social work departments will accept a portfolio as an alternative. Some schools that offer the portfolio option may require new students to first enroll in a course on how to put together a professional portfolio in a specific format. Documents to include are detailed letters of recommendation from work supervisors, any related licenses or credentials and any other awards earned on the job. Often an advising faculty reviews each portfolio before making a definite decision to grant credit.

Enrolling in an Assessment Degree Program

A few accredited universities offer these types of degree programs that combine past documented social work experience with classroom or online learning. You will usually need to demonstrate fundamental knowledge acquired on a past job. You also may need to complete at least one capstone course and an internship. Admission to these assessment programs also relies heavily on written recommendations from past supervisors or managers. The two most successful and reputable online college assessment programs are found at Excelsior College of New York and Thomas Edison State College of New Jersey.

Credits For Undergraduate Degrees

When enrolling in an undergraduate social work program, sometimes you may be able to receive credits for past work experiences. According to most policies within social work school departments, the same credit is not granted for graduate level social work programs. The good news for prospective graduate students is that an undergraduate major in social work is generally not required for admission to most social work graduate degree programs. Credit for work or life experience can be applied to an undergraduate degree in another field before you finish and apply to graduate school.

Considerations for Social Work Degree Programs

Not all colleges and universities grant credit for past social work towards an undergraduate degree, so do your research carefully on several schools. Credits are determined on a case-by-case basis, and many social work departments have varying evaluation criteria for giving work experience college credits. Holding a current social worker license can count toward college credits at some specific schools.

Tips for Earning College Credit for Social Work Experiences

When making your decision to earn a social work degree, make a list of schools that may be a good fit for you. Find out the names of the advising faculty and contact them by phone or email. Ask questions about the social work department’s policy on granting credit for social work experience. Be specific about your past experience and any licenses or certificates you currently have. Write down the information you get from the advising staff about getting credit for your work experience and use it for making your final choice of a social work degree program.

Do I Need to Know a Foreign Language to be A Social Worker?

foreignSocial work clients are usually members of underprivileged minorities and of immigrant and refugee groups. Hispanics now make up the country’s largest minority group, with a population of about 37 million according to the 2000 Census. There are many reasons for this, and limited familiarity with English is just one problem. The inability to use English effectively also serves as a roadblock to using social services.

One way to fix this is for Hispanic clients to learn English. Experienced social workers know that clients who live on the margins of society are unlikely to be able to master English. These clients are usually struggling to survive and need help to meeting their basic needs. The role of the social worker is to help needy clients, whether they are individuals, families, groups, or communities.

One necessary skill needed to work with underprivileged people is the ability to communicate across the impediments of race, class, gender, disability status, age, sexual orientation, and language. Social work requirements address most of these barriers but have not taken into account the need to help students overcome language barriers. Social work programs need to help students learn Spanish and enlarge their responsiveness and sensitivity to the needs of Hispanic clients.

To meet the educational standards for social work as set by the Council on Social Work Education (the accrediting body for social work educational programs), social work majors have to complete 80 credit hours in social work studies and related courses. That makes it unfeasible for the social work program to add a foreign language requirement. Most colleges also require specific general studies courses. Unfortunately, the requirements for studying a foreign language are minimal is it exists as all. Most colleges consider foreign language as elective course work.

Social workers need information about many ethnic groups. Descriptions of language, culture, religious institutions, marriage and family patterns, help-seeking behavior, and social mores have been made available for several ethnic groups, with a focus on the most underprivileged. Supplemental texts, written by sociologists on race and ethnicity, also provide a wealth of information on various ethnic groups.

Knowledge of ethnic groups, of social dynamics, and of suitable values and attitudes, are also needed by social workers to help them reach across cultural barriers to provide practice skills.

One cultural anthropologist suggested that social workers should study a variety of cultures in order to better understand minority clients. This was of thinking has influenced social work educators who are focusing on different ways in which social workers and clients view each other, the positions that they occupy in their worlds, and the belief systems of both. The social worker learns the client’s beliefs as she or he works with the client and adjusts his or her approach so that it is acceptable, and helpful to the client.

Social work education stresses the significance of knowledge about and respect for diversity. It also underscores development of cross-cultural practical skills. What is almost overlooked is the need to be able to speak a foreign language as part of these skills.

The Council on Social Work Education does not speak to the issue of learning a foreign language. It concentrates on diversity. Social work programs mix together content that encourages understanding, support, and respect for people from various backgrounds. The content emphasizes the connected and multifaceted nature of culture and personal identity. It guarantees that social services meet the needs of the groups served and are culturally relevant. The National Association of Social Workers has published standards for cultural ability in social work, which includes the following: “Agencies and providers of services are expected to take reasonable steps to provide services and information in appropriate language other than English to ensure that people with limited English proficiency are effectively informed and can effectively participate in and benefit from its programs.”

This idea has not been put into effect in social work education. In an article on preparing social workers for cross-cultural work
, it is encourages social workers not to expect clients to speak the worker’s language, but social workers should learn to speak in the client’s. Despite the limited interest in developing second language proficiency in social workers, at least two social work educational programs have added language requirements to their curriculum. An evaluation of the programs showed that students who completed this adapted language immersion program performed better in language skills than did those students who learned through the conventional series of four semester-long Spanish courses.

What is Welfare Fraud?

welfareWelfare fraud is one of the darker sides of the field of social work. As a crime in which an individual amasses state and/or government benefits by intentionally giving false information about their financial status and situation, it is essentially an abuse of a service offered in times of need. This type of fraud can deprive those who actually need assistance of obtaining more benefits.

An individual can commit welfare fraud in a few ways. One common example is when a beneficiary knowingly reports less income than he or she is earning since the information provided by the applying beneficiary determines what types of benefits (food, cash, medical care, subsidized housing) for which he or she is eligible, and the amounts of each one.  A beneficiary can also claim to have more dependents than is true to obtain more money or other benefits. Lastly-and although this one is less common-a person can apply for benefits using different names or the identities of other people.

Steps to Combat, Convict, and Correct Welfare Fraud

To combat welfare fraud, which costs the government and states millions of dollars, those who are suspected of the crime are investigated. Workers from the welfare office obtain the applicant’s information based on the answers they give and can check it against bank accounts, contact employers to verify wages, and get in touch with landlords to establish the number of people living in the household.

Should it reveal that a beneficiary is committing welfare fraud, there are several consequences to ensue. The severity of the punishment can be determined by the amount the person fraudulently obtained and his or her criminal history. In some instances, criminals are forced to repay the amount of benefits they collected. They are also likely to be denied benefits in the future if they reapply. However, the most severe punishment is imprisonment, with some sentences in upwards of five years.

There are cases in which a person does not intend to commit fraud, but a welfare worker who believes otherwise investigates the beneficiary. Due to the severity of the consequences if welfare fraud is proven to take place, beneficiaries should ask for copies of the paperwork in their files to understand why they are being investigated. They should then contact a lawyer to sort the information and take the next necessary steps.

Seeking legal assistance is crucial to clearing one’s name, especially for an immigrant. Often, there are misinterpretations between immigrants who apply for welfare benefits and their workers due to language barriers. If charged with welfare fraud, an immigrant can have a difficult time getting citizenship and even face deportation in extreme cases.

If an individual on welfare benefits needs legal aid, they are unlikely to able to afford a lawyer. However, there are a few ways to get help. The first one is online; a person can get legal assistance from real lawyers through many public websites. The other method is by contacting local lawyers. Although there is a fee to proceed with the cases, some lawyers do offer free advice. Lastly, they can get in touch with a public defender. There is usually little to no fees associated with getting help from them.

Committing welfare fraud is a serious crime in which millions of dollars are issued to people who do not deserve them. As so, these potential frauds are investigated all the time to ensure only those who need assistance get it. If convicted of the crime, the consequences can affect whether or not that person will be eligible for benefits in the future to imprisonment. These are serious punishments to an arising crime, so if one believes he or she is wrongly accused due to misinterpretations, it is important to seek legal help to avoid the consequences.

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10 Worst Cases of Welfare Fraud Ever (So Far)

Understanding the Role of Child Protective Services

cpsIn the United States, Child Protective Services is a governmental agency run on the state level that was created to respond to reports of child abuse and neglect. Each state has its own CPS practice, where CPS workers respond to the over 2.5 million reports of child maltreatment in the country each year. Here are some frequently asked questions to better understand CPS and its workers.

What is Child Protective Services?

Child Protective Services (CPS) promotes the safety and well-being of children through intervention in reported child abuse cases. The goal of CPS is to keep children in their homes when it is deemed safe, and to provide them with a safe environment when they are determined to be at risk.

What are the Roles of CPS Workers?

CPS workers have a wide range of roles that they must play on a day-to-day basis. Firstly, they must do a lot of desk work, receiving and evaluating reports of child abuse cases, most of which are made over the phone. They then must use reasoning and investigative skills to determine if the child is at risk. If so, then CPS workers counsel and rehabilitate the child and family. They often provide support for each family for up to one year. If a child cannot be put back into their home, then workers also must coordinate an adoptive home, foster parents, or refer the child and their family to other support services.

What do CPS Workers Do?

CPS workers follow a standard protocol when responding to a child abuse report. First, they must assess the safety of the child. If the child’s immediate safety is not at risk, then the worker will work with the family to reduce the risk of future maltreatment and help the child cope with the effects of previous maltreatment.

If the child’s environment is deemed a risk to their well-being, then the CPS worker will intervene to protect the child from harm. The child typically goes to a foster home as counseling begins. While the goal of the CPS worker is to be able to reunite the child with their family after intensive counseling, they also begin to develop a concurrent plan. This means seeking out a safe adoptive home for the child.

How do CPS Workers Keep Children Safe?

CPS workers are very educated on seeing the signs of child abuse and neglect, and they know how to respond to every unique situation. So when a child is deemed to be at immediate risk of abuse, the CPS worker will take the child from their home and place them with a foster family. Workers then begin counseling the family, in hopes of reuniting the child and parents. However, when the family is uncooperative or does not seem to make progress, CPS will coordinate a new home for the child.

What Guiding Principles Do CPS Workers Follow?

CPS has several basic philosophical tenets that their workers follow. These are as follows: The best place for a child to grow up is in a safe and permanent home. When adequately supported, most parents can be good parents. Families requiring assistance from CPS agencies are diverse. CPS agencies are accountable for child safety and family well-being. CPS efforts are most effective when clients are involved in the process. When parents cannot take care of and protect their children, CPS must intervene on the child’s behalf. When a child must be placed in out-of-home care, CPS will work to find a safe and permanent home as quickly as possible.

What is the Most Important Aspect of a CPS Worker’s Job?

The most important duty of a CPS worker is to ensure the safety of children. Since the agency believes that the best place for a child to grow up is in a safe and permanent home, they first work to counsel the child’s birth family. When this is not possible, however, then they must find an adoptive family that will provide a safe and permanent home.

Child Protective Services is a very important agency that focuses on protecting the safety and well-being of children and youth throughout the country. Since workers must provide support to both children and their families, they are often required to have a background in counseling or psychology. They also must complete two year of clinical training. The job of a CPS worker can be stressful with high risk of “burn out” but many find rewarding careers in the field.

What is the National Association of Social Workers?

naswlogoThe National Association of Social Workers with more than 140,000 members, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world. Started in 1955, Its goals are to build and develop the field of social work and the individual professionals, to create and maintain professional standards and to promote social work policies. The organization accomplishes this through several “arms.”

NASW Code of Ethics

The NASW developed a Code of Ethics which has become the “Bible” for social work practitioners. The various parts of the code are the impetus for NASW programs. The code is intended to serve as a guide to every-day conduct of social workers. One of the primary dictums of the code is the respect social workers must have for their fellow workers and for the clients they serve.
Education, according to the code, is a primary way to achieve this respect. Social workers are prompted to educate themselves about cultural and societal diversity. That leads the workers to understand the repression of rights of individuals in respect to
• Race
• Ethnicity
• Color
• Sex
• Sexual orientation
• Gender identity
• Marital status
• Political beliefs
• Immigration status
• Mental or physical disability

Not only are social workers to learn about these factors, they are to oppose and act to prevent discrimination or exploitation of any person. The code is an important program of the NASW because it unifies the members in how they practice. It gives then a reference point when ethical or personal issues arise during the performance of their duties by identifying the relevant values in the uncertainty.Members of the NASW understand that the Code of Ethics is just a guide and violation of its standards does not imply they have done anything illegal. NASW advocates review committees to resolve these issues.

How the NASW is Governed

The NASW is governed by an assembly of 277 elected delegates which set policy and establish priorities in the organization programs. It also determines what position the organization (and thus most of the nation’s social workers) will take on public and professional issues. Every state has a NASW chapter. Members are expected to pay dues to the organization. For MSW and DSW members, that fee is $190 annually. BSW members pay $125. There are also dues for student members which are lower.

The NASW’s Role in Education Standards

One of the first standards the Code of Ethics identifies is education. After social workers graduate from college, they become licensed. That license, however, is an indication that the social worker meets minimum requirements to practice. After obtaining their license, social workers get further education, experience, and specialization in different aspects of social work. To receive recognition of excellence, or to further their careers they can elect to become certified. For 50 years, the NASW has offered credentials through the NASW Credentialing Center. Education is also the reason for the NASW Foundation. The charitable arm of the NASW offers scholarships and fellowships to students who wish to explore specialties or further their educations in social work.

NASW’s Educational, Advocacy, Employment, & Professional Resources

The NASW also has publications and books, as well as actual courses from its continuing education center. The center is an online tool that social workers can access at any time to gain continuing education credit. Many of the courses are teleconferences and workshops on specialty areas of interest. The NASW website offers a portal into colleges with credited courses as well.

Another offering of the NASW website is a jobs portal where members can find employment. The site has a link to a jobs list, but it also offers tips on building resumes and self-marketing. There is even a section devoted to techniques to use on a job interview.

Although the NASW is not a political organization, it does involve itself in political advocacy. It also informs its members of impending legislation and how it will affect their careers or their clients.

The NASW provides standards for professional review, and it administers the reviews. The website details how to report a violation or register a complaint. From that point, the organization proceeds with a protocol for censuring or sanctioning licensed members. In other words, the NASW acts as a regulatory organization of social workers through the NEC, or National Ethics Committee. At the other end of the sanction spectrum, the NASW offers legal resources, some financial, to its members.

One of the greatest NASW benefits is the amazing website. This online resource serves high school students exploring career paths and practicing social workers who want to get better at what they do. It answers questions and offers tools and encouragement.

Are There Any Specializations Within Social Work?

socialworkspecNo matter the area of specialty that a social worker chooses to enter into, it is always to his or her best benefit to earn a master’s degree in social work. Earning this type of credential tends to take about seven years.

People often go to college with hopes of earning a degree in which they can use to truly make a difference in the lives of those around them. Unfortunately, after spending much money and time, a degree is earned and little difference is accomplished. On the upside, however, this doesn’t ring true for those who choose to earn a degree in social work. When it comes to earning this type of degree, it should be noted that there are several specialty fields that one can enter into. Let’s dive right in and take a close look at five of the more common specializations.

Mental Health

A master’s degree is not always required to enter into the field of social work; however, it can be of the utmost benefit, especially when going into the mental health sector. When a person has the desire to perform clinical services, a master’s degree is required, as well as the appropriate type of licensure. In this line of work, a person will provide a wide array of mental health services, including therapy, counseling, diagnosing mental health conditions and much more.

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a person can expect to make upwards of $41,000 a year.

Medical/Public Health

There has always been, and will always be, a high demand for social workers who work in the medical field. There are many settings that a person can find employment in as a medical social worker, including hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, substance abuse treatment centers, home health agencies and more. In this occupation, a social worker spends his or her time advocating for the rights of his or her patients.

The average annual salary for social workers int he field of Medical or Public Health tends to be between $41,000 and $60,000.

Child Welfare

Many people who enter into the field of social work do so with the intentions of becoming a child welfare worker. This line of work is often one that is emotionally demanding as well as one that includes working odd hours. Child welfare workers are often on-call all hours of the day. They must meet with clients and report changes and updates to judges on a regular basis. The custody arrangements of the cases they handle are generally left in their hands, making this occupation one with much responsibility. To enter into this line of work, a person will only need a bachelor’s degree in social work as well as the appropriate type of licensure.

Depending on where a person chooses to work, as a child welfare social worker, a person can expect to make anywhere from $20,000 to $45,000 a year.

Substance Abuse

Another common area specialization found in the field of social work is substance abuse. Choosing to enter this sub-specialty can land a person a job in any of the following settings:

– Juvenile detention centers
– Mental health centers
– Substance abuse treatment facilities
– Non-profit organizations
– Prisons
– Jails

Those who choose to become a social worker who specializes in substance abuse spend their time helping those who have become addicted to drugs. The true value of this position should never be underestimated.

Salary levels for those working in this field tends to be somewhere around $50,000 a year.

School Social Work

Another common specialization found in social work is that of school social work. As a school social workers, a person will work as a mediator between students, teachers and students’ families to make sure everyone is on the same page. Many times, a school social worker will be in charge of particular programs, including:

– Crisis intervention
– Behavioral intervention programs
– Health education
– Truancy prevention
– Sexual education

Salary levels in this line of work are usually around $50,000 a year.