Over time, social work has changed. It was mostly a religious and charitable practice. Now it is more professional. It is less a private and volunteer activity and more a publicly funded, paid occupation.
Social workers may do any of these things:
- Assessing strength of a person, their family, and their social support systems to help them within the community.
- Educating a family on the physical and social needs of its members and how they can get help,
- Counselling for individuals and families
- Managing the risk of self harm or danger to others.
- Managing money — finding people who need financial assistance.
- Helping people to come in or out of hospitals and other institutions
- Showing people how to find help
Social workers often have a lot of work and pressure to solve problems. It is a demanding job where people have occupational burnout. Social workers will have cases of homelessness, chronic unemployment, lack of income, lack of health insurance coverage, prison history, and substance abuse problems. Any of these problems, separately and together, can cause difficulty.