It’s one of those careers that can be utterly rewarding, but to say there are stigmas and misconceptions about social workers would be a gross understatement. There is a lot of misinformation published about these roles and as you may have already gathered through the title of this post, today is all about debunking them once and for all.
As such, if you have been mulling over the online MSW requirements, let’s take a look at some of the information you should be avoiding as a matter of urgency.
Myth #1 – All it takes is a kind heart
Let’s start with one of the most common, but completely false myths, which surround social workers.
There’s no doubt that a range of personal characteristics are needed for the typical social worker. After all, this can be demanding work from a psychological perspective, and some of the sights you see will impact you in some shape or form.
However, to suggest that you only need a kind heart and nothing else to progress in this field is completely false. The fact that hundreds of thousands of individuals hold a social work degree should highlight this down to a tee, and ultimately means that most roles require formal qualifications to even consider you.
Myth #2 – Social workers aren’t allowed to practice psychology
Firstly, we’re by no means suggesting that all social workers are all psychologists. Clearly, this would be an exaggeration.
However, the point that the authorities are trying to make is that a lot of mental health services can be carried out by a social worker, and it doesn’t require a specialized psychologist.
The fact it is classed as one of the four main professions, at least when it comes to mental health, by the National Institute of Mental Health should highlight this.
Myth #3 – The majority of social workers are employed by the government
Contrary to popular belief, the government actually hire very few social workers in the grand scheme of things. Instead, just a third of all qualified social workers will be employed in this regard – either by federal, state or local governments. This can span across the likes of hospitals, schools or even non-profit agencies – but don’t approach this profession with the belief that you will definitely be working for the government.
Myth #4 – It’s not possible to specialize in social work
This final myth is probably the main one that you need to watch out for; for the simple reason that it can be incredibly off-putting for the typical person who is looking to approach a social work career.
Social workers tend to always specialize in some field. As we have already discussed, schools and hospitals are common workplaces, as are government offices, or social workers who visit families to deal with children. Ultimately, the range of work here is huge and it means that most people do turn to social work and branch off to specialize in an area.