Helping people cope with their problems is part of the job description of a case worker. From people struggling with addictions to people coping with disabilities the case worker offers assistance in a variety of ways
A case worker deals with people who are struggling with a number of different life challenges by working at healthcare facilities, government agencies and schools.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Case Worker
- Helps families that are experiencing difficulties due to illness, job loss, injury or other life-changing situations.
- Visits clients in their homes.
- Assesses potential child risks such as negligence and abuse.
- Works with families to develop a safe and healthy environment for children with the goal of keeping the family together and functioning in a positive manner so that intervention is no longer necessary .
- Removes children from homes that are deemed to be in crisis and relocates the child to a shelter, a foster home or other safe environment.
- Discusses personal issues with troubled family members like money management or personal relationships.
- Talks to family members about sexual exploitation of children and other issues that are harmful to children.
- Observes children to look for signs of exposure to things that are not age appropriate.
- Works as a team member with the court system and a social work or government agency.
- Works objectively with family members who have been accused of abusing or neglecting children.
- Educates families on how to change dangerous and unhealthy behaviors.
- Helps families find resources and support networks in the communities.
- Empowers families to become self-sufficient and provide safe and secure environments for their children.
- Handles paperwork required for each case.
- Finds ways to work effectively with families from different cultures and alternative lifestyles.
- Determines whether or not a child is safe within the family’s living arrangements.
Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Must have strong communication skills.
- Must be empathetic and non-judgmental.
- Must have excellent interpersonal skills.
- Strong negotiation skills are essential.
- Must be an active listener and have good writing skills.
- Must have excellent critical thinking and analytical skills.
- Must have strong decision making skills.
- Superior organizational and time management skills are musts.
- Must have good computer and keyboarding skills and the ability to manage databases.
- Must have strong math skills.
Education and Experience
- Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work or Psychology.
- Master’s Degree in Social Work.
- Internship and supervised work alongside an experienced case worker.
- License to be a practicing case worker in the state of employment.
- Certification through the National Association of Social Workers.
- Continuing education credits.
- Must be able to travel to clients’ homes and other locations.
- Time can be spent in potentially hazardous environments when dealing with clients with addiction problems or visiting homes where domestic violence is an issue.
- Time is spent visiting clients in various hospitals and mental health facilities.
- Must be able to deal with highly stressful situations.
- Must be willing to work long and odd hours.
Salaries range from $40,000 to $70,000 depending on the level of education and years of service.