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  • Social Workers Unite!

     

    I see a lot of topics for many careers but nothing for us social workers :P

    Just wanted to start a forum for us to vent, build and so forth.

    I'll start. I'm in my 2nd semester of grad school at UIC Jane Addams School of Social Work and I absolutely it. I was frantic to get a 4.0 last semester cause it had been 9 years since a sister was in undergrad so I was a little worried.

    I love my classes. This semester I have multiculturalism and a research class (oh joy). Im on a 3 year program, go to school at night so I can work during the day.

    Soooo, share some stories. What's good with all my folks trying to save lives and what area are you working in or studying in?

    Me, I plan to be a school social worker right after school. Once I become a LCSW, I plan to open my own practice, still focusing on youth, but working with families as well. Also, as a mental health consumer, I want to work with mental health patients, maybe on a volunteer basis. I already volunteer for two speaker's bureaus, sharing my story and offering advice.

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    LOL, guess we have no one in social work. My bad

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    del

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    I am a social worker in training too. I work as a volunteer at a DV shelter and I co-facilitate two womens support groups.

    I am in school, taking the last bit of my gen ed credits (math) and then will start junior year this fall.

    My plan is to be a LCSW/MSW which ever one makes the most or both if possible. I want to open my own therapy center focusing on marriage counseling, DV, teen dating violence, etc with all populations to include the GLTB (sp?) community. I want to help mend the community while tackling Domestic Violence and bring some of these families that are broken back together.

    Q

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    Well I am in social work at a mental health agency. I hate it. As a social worker it seems like you would be able to make a difference but it does not happen that way. My coworker described it best " social work is a job where you are always putting out fires", and rarely making a difference. Mental health is not meant for those who want to make a difference. The problems faced by that population are chronic. Bipolar and schizophrenia are the easy illnesses, the personality disorders will be the real treat.

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    I graduated as a social worker as a undergrad and recently I went to get my MBA. Wishing I had gotten my MSW first so that I could be working right now.

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    I am still in Undergrad as a Social Work major. I absolutely love it , I was really glad that I found something to hold my attention(changed majors about 5 times ) I am interested in public policy/administration. My goal is to become a Lobbyist, or a legislator...this is really major so I hope to start off with establishing a non-profit agency. Wish me luck

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    Yo I suck, I forgot all about this thread, I didn't think anyone responded.

    Welcome all, yippee.

    mama2be-of course you count sis! Cool beans you are started grad school in Sept. Good luck!

    Queencece-welcome sis. Good luck with your program and big props for the area you want to go into!!

    lashedakeonpowell-sorry to hear you don't like your job Social work is definitely a job where you can make a difference. If you are working somewhere that doesn't allow you to do that, you might want to look for another job.

    Also, you can make a difference with mental health clients, I do it and I have many collegues/friends who do it as well, depends on where you are working and what you are doing. If you are in a large, public instiution that treats mental health patients, it may not be the best experience, opposed to a private facility or if you have a private practice.

    I wouldn't say bipolar and schizophrenia are "easy" illnesses, one Im bipolar and there was nothing easy when I was first getting treated for my illness and although Ive been stable for years, it still isn't "easy." Two, schizophrenia is a very unstable condition and my clients who have it would definitely disagree about it being an "easy" illness. Personality disorders are not easy either. I would say none of the mental illnesses are "easy." If they were, people wouldn't be sick or committing suicide. Some illnesses are more treatable than others, yes, but easy, thats a stretch.

    I don't know, your outlook on social work and mental illness seems a bit jaded, are you sure you want to work in this profession? Like teaching and other human service professions, you have to be passionate and really want to do it, otherwise you will hate it more every day. Don't work doing something you are not happy doing, it isn't worth it. And if this is your passion, start looking into other areas to work in, if mental health isn't your thing, what about children and family? What about working with teens? What about working with the homeless? School social work? I could go on an on, you don't have to stay in mental health if that isn't your thing. Let me know how you're doing okay.

    Nubian21-good for you sis. I wish you nothing but the best!

    Looking forward to more conversation ladies. Thanks for responding

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    I'm currently a psychology major but i've been thinking about transferring to social work concentration.

    Question(for anyone) one become a social worker with only a bachelors degree in social work?

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    Just wanted to start a forum for us to vent,...

    Yes, you certainly can. However, the money SUCKS (for the most part)! I know we who have a heart for it don't do it for the money, but hey we gotta eat. There's about a $33,000 difference in what I make now with a MSW and what I would have made with my BSW only (which I also have).

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    Question(for anyone) one become a social worker with only a...

    You can work in the field, but you'll more than likely be a caseworker and you won't get as much money as you would if you were a Master's-level SW (and SWs don't get nearly as much as they should, considering that basketball players get paid millions. <_< But that's another discussion for another thread.) Might as well go on ahead and get your Master's.

    LMSW here. Been there, done everything all of you have done. Any questions or comments about the profession, feel free to PM anytime.

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    Psych major (undergrad senior) supplementing electives with Social Work courses.

    Planning entry into Social Psych dual track program (Masters/PhD) in Fall 08.

    Interest: research, policy development and advocacy.

    Interest Group: undocumented citizens infected with HIV/AIDS

    Goal: Challenge health care policies so that this group can be treated like any other being treated for an infectious disease. Medication and counseling dispensed despite immigration status and lack of medical insurance.

    Current Employment: Administration - in non-profit organization - mental health treatment and housing.

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    Im loving this

    Im in agreement, definitely get your MSW so you can make some money. Us poor social workers, if you just have a bachelor's, the money isn't that good

    But getting that MSW and getting licensed, yea boy, more money, more money

    Quote:
    So, maybe after DH gets his PhD and I'on really HAVE to work.
    Hey sis, I didn't know you were a social worker. Cool beans! Hey now, I love seeing educated black folks, tell your hubby to go head and work it out

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    I this conversation too. I am learning so much.

    I want to be a LMSW too! I am entering junior year in the fall and this definitely has me thinking about my goals and where I want to exactly go more and more. Even though I have more than a clue, it never hurts to take alternate routes. I still have to decide just where I want to put my degree into practice. The school setting sounds good, but so does the hospital setting. However, my first "love" is definitely domestic violence and opening my own therapy center. *Decisions, decisions*

    Q

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    aww man I was tryin to avoid more years in school :P . $33,000 is a huge difference...

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    Welcome all, yippee. mama2be-of course you count sis! Cool beans you...

    It is okay for us to disagree about social work. Best wishes to all.

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    Raising hand and waving wildly. ..I was so excited to see this thread! I'm a social worker too! I am a Program Director for a non profit youth program. I have an MSW, but not too sure about getting licensed. My concentration in graduate school was policy/administration so not heavy on the clinical side. I would have to study my tail off for the licensure exam, not to mention I graduated a few years ago so what lil bit of clinical stuff I did learn is soo not fresh on the brain.

    For the person that said they want to be a lobbyist I did my final practicum at the capital here. I worked closely with one of state senators and learned sooo much about the legislative process. It really gives you a sense of how to REALLY make changes.

    Thanks for starting this thread ES! Keep your heads up world changers!

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    What's the difference between having an MSW and a LCSW? What will the license provide that the Master's won't? I know the difference between BSW and MSW is 33K :P, but besides that, what are the perks?

    Q (just a little inquisitive )

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    Q (just a little inquisitive )...

    Girl mo money, mo money and mo money. Not to mention the more job opportunities you can have. I know some people who are in my grad program to get their MSW just so they can get licensed. Really, the plethora of jobs out there with your LCSW is endless. Something about having that "clinical" in there makes people want to take you more seriously and pay you lots of money..lol My girl has her LCSW and works with large organizations, doing training for staff and so forth, she makes 6 figures. Im all about that I mean you know, Im about helping and all, but making a living is a plus!

    Not to mention opening up your own clinic or practice. It is just worth it and not hard to get after you graduate. Just get those necessary hours of working under/being supervised by an LCSW, take that test and bam work it out!

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    LMSW exam can be taken right after graduation from Master's program (if you want; better to take it right after than to wait longer). LCSW exam can be taken after 2 years post-grad experience and a certain number of hours of supervision, depending on your home state.

    LMSW can also mean the difference between making pennies and making dollars. But of course, LCSW is a little more attractive.

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    Quote:Not to mention opening up your own clinic or practice....

    Good info. So, that I can plan things a little better and without wishing and hoping. Doing is what I'm talking about. ^_^

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    I been lurking and I am just going to jump in and ask my question/make my comments, and y'all can let me know if I am in the wrong forum...I have an AA degree in business admin working in accounting, and let me tell you it is not what I would like to be spending 8 hours a day doing-pays pretty decent, but that is all I can say about it and I am at the point in my life (i'm only 26, but my soul is old-LOL) that I ain't trying to keep doing things that take up so much of my time but have no meaning for me, doing things that to me aren't doing anything but fattening corporate pockets, imo. I have a passion to work in the social services, currently being trained for mentoring and outreach, LOVE speaking and trying to uplift the younger kids b/c I feel like you need to catch them early to have the best impact. I have been heavily considering going back to school to get my BA in community health and then getting my MPH--it used to be a toss up between that and social work, but I looked at the pay and was like , for all that you all do?!?!? But its not about the money, money is nice no doubt, but I feel like in order to get involved at the level I would like to be, I need to get my degree. Any advice you all can give? BTW, I would like to tell y'all thank you for doing what you do, we need more sistahs out here doing it and doing it with passion--take a bow

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    Snowed in part of yesterday and all of today...........

    I was lurking around forum between searching the net, and I came across this job listing that's asking for an MSW:

    Position: Advocate

    Reports to: Vice President for Policy

    Purpose: The Advocate is the core program position at the staff level for Refugees International. Advocates travel to countries and regions experiencing humanitarian crises and carry out assessments of the level and causes of displacement. These assessments involve interviews and discussions with displaced persons, UN and NGO personnel, and government officials. Upon completion of the assessment missions, Advocates are responsible for writing up their findings in short reports called bulletins and devising and carrying out an advocacy strategy to advance their recommendations.

    http://www.refugeesinternational.org

    I believe that there are almost endless possibilities with just about any degree. Especially when the careers paths are thought out creatively and outside-of-the-box, or non-traditionally.

    Public Policy is definitely one of those huge fields with almost infinite opportunities. With a MSW or a LCSW, you can even travel the world and help refugees traumatized by war. Write reports for the U.N. and other international agencies and organizations, and become an international human and civil rights advocate.

    I realize that we need to heal our people here, domestically. But there's definitely a need for more Black people in the international affairs realm as well. Especially in public policy and advocacy..........The field is very White/European. Especially when it comes to Africa. There's a few of us, but not enough.

    Anyway.....I don't have a contact at Refugees International, but I came across the listing and thought I'd post it here since the job description is asking for an MSW. Good luck.

    - Sacral

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    I wanted to become a teacher for many reasons, one of which was to educate the future generation of youth. However, the combination of underlying psychological issues, broken homes, lack of resources, etc amongst these children/teenagers has caused me to change my major and begin working towards a MSW. I really want to get to the root of the problem!

    I actually signed into forum today just so I could see if anyone has a career in social work, and what are the ups/downs of this career choice.

    Keep the opinions coming!

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    Just wanted to add that I am really enjoying my MSW courses. My multiculturalism class is so inspiring and educational. Last semester, which was my 1st in grad school, we discussed human behavior and the social environment and social welfare policy. In my multiculturalism class, we delve further into the history of social work, i.e. COS and the Settlement House Movement. Also discuss ethnic service organizations, staffed by ethnic groups serving in that ethnic group community, the pros and cons of that.

    Just a lot of interesting stuff with the history. Speaking of interesting, how many new that Jane Addams was a lesbian? Learn something new everyday and I go the the Jane Addams School of Social Work so Im going to learn more about her as I go along. Anyway, she did a lot for the social work movement, I could care less who she loved be it man or woman.

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    Hello everyone,

    My best friend told me about this thread and so I had to come se what it was all about. Iàƒ¢â‚¬â„¢m so glad to see that so many of you are in the social work field and are thinking of entering in it. I'm currently a undergrad psychology major, who is in the process of applying to the school of social work. I'm at work right now actually with my grad school apps. right next to me. I'm really interested in working with families (marriage counseling, domestic violence, and child development). I plan on getting my LMSW and LCSW. I do have a question though. Do I need to get my LMSW before I can get my LCSW? Also does anyone know anything about incorporating Christianity in social work practice? I've been thinking about getting a joint degree. I considered getting my MSW and MDIV (Masters in Divinity). I think the only thing that is keeping me from actually making the decision is the length of time it will take me. It would take me 4years to complete both degrees. Which leads to my next question; if it is a joint degree shouldn't the length of time to get both degrees be shorten? Anyway, I guess I'm just venting a little.

    If anyone has any insight for me please let me know.

    Good luck everyone!

    Blessings

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    My best friend told me about this thread and so...

    To answer your questions:

    1. Yes, you have to get your LMSW first before getting your LCSW. The only way you can bypass that is if you've been in the field for years and are grandfathered into your LCSW.

    2. There are programs out there that allow you to obtain an MSW and M.Div. One of them is at Columbia University. MSW/M.Div. at Columbia

    3. The length of time to get 2 degrees is shortened because whereas regularly it might take you 5 years to complete both separately, it'll take you 4 years instead. A good example of this is the MSW/JD programs. MSW takes 2 years regularly and JD takes 3 years regularly. Combine the two and you complete them both in 4 years as opposed to 5.

    Hope that helped.
    _____________________________________________

    As an aside, I wanted to post a little SW history. Sara(h) A. Collins Fernandis

    Sarah A. Collins Fernandis was born in Port Deposit in 1863 and was the first African American female hired in the State of Maryland as a social worker for a public welfare agency. She completed her undergraduate work at Hampton Institute, Virginia, in 1882, (where she penned the schoolàƒ¢â‚¬â„¢s song) and proceeded to teach public school in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. In 1900 she came to Baltimore as an elementary school teacher, but when she married John C. Fernandis in 1903 she had to give up her teaching career, as state law forbade married women to teach in public schools. Instead she moved to Washington D.C. and established the first neighborhood settlement house for African Americans in the United States, before going to New York University to study for a degree in social work.

    Mrs. Fernandis opened a settlement house in Rhode Island and in 1913, back in Baltimore, opened a day nursery at Druid Hill and began working with the Cooperative Civic League in the City until 1917, seeking improvement in African-American communities. She became the first President of this organization, which stormed City Hall demanding neighborhoods be cleaned up àƒ¢â‚¬âœ including streets and alleys. The Milk Committee of her organization pressured the Health Department to put milk in sanitary containers and be sold from clean shops. She fought to get trash collection in African-American neighborhoods, just like in white neighborhoods, and had City Hall raze a block of building, due to terribly high rates of tuberculosis in the area, with residents relocated to safer, sanitary homes.

    A volunteer at the Family Welfare Agency and Henry Watson Childrenàƒ¢â‚¬â„¢s Aid Society, as well as the YMCA and Juvenile Court, she helped organize the fist inter-racial, inter-faith association in Baltimore, founded by Mrs. Francis King Carey and Dr. Peter Anslee. During World War I she helped construct a War Camp Community Center in Chester, Pa., and in 1920 the Baltimore Health Department finally hired this amazing woman as the First African American Social Worker in the Cityàƒ¢â‚¬â„¢s Venereal Disease Clinic.

    She was instrumental in the erection of the Henryton State Hospital, a tuberculosis hospital for African-Americans in 1923, and the establishment of a second neighborhood house for African Americans in Baltimore in 1936. She also opened the National Youth Administration office at Druid Hill in 1936, sheltering homeless girls and leading them to employment. A room at the Madison YMCA in Baltimore was named in her honor.

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    Also does anyone know anything about incorporating Christianity in social...

    If you are not too far along in your undergrad degree, maybe you could transfer to Nyack College at the Rockland Campus (www.nyack.edu). The school focuses on incorporating your secular area of study with Christianity.

    If you're too far along to transfer you can check the program suggested at Columbia or you can look at what St.John's University has to offer.

    Blessings to you too.

    -Nicky-

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    1. Yes, you have to get your LMSW first before...

    But i'll definetly look into the other schools you mentioned!

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