In the present day society, the field of social work can be seen in many aspects. Being extremely broad, social workers help others in a variety of ways. Their focus can be on individuals, families, groups, organizations, or communities as a whole, but the ultimate goal of complete equality and social fairness for everyone remains the same (Kirst-Ashman, 2007, p. 5). Social workers can be seen throughout society helping people of all ages and in all different types of worldly conditions. Many other occupational fields of study incorporate some of the ideas and concepts of social work, including psychology, my major field of study. There are some differences between these fields, but many aspects of social work are extremely useful in my vocational pursuit.
People seeking a career in social work have many varieties of practice to choose from. Depending on the degree of either a baccalaureate, master's, or doctorate of social work, employment can be found in schools, hospitals, nursing homes, correctional facilities, welfare agencies, homeless shelters, and many other places in which people from the community seek any type of help (Kirst-Ashman, 2007, p. 16). The main concept in all fields of social work is to enhance social welfare, especially to those belonging to a diverse group. Human diversity is never ending and should be appreciated, which is why social workers strive to bridge the societal gaps between all the different groups in society, whether described in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, socio-economic status, age, gender, disability, or anything else that does not seem to fall into the mainstream of society (Kirst-Ashman, 2007, p. 28). Social workers are viewed as helpers. They help people with various needs, as is relevant to situations and environments in which the social worker is working. In schools, for instant, a social worker will help the adolescents resolve emotional issues, as well as social and behavioral problems. They can have one-on-one counseling with the student in need or workshops and group therapy, including teachers and families whenever necessary. Another type of social worker is one who does research and studies social policies. They will analyze social problems and see how existing programs are working in the community so that they can help develop new services when the existing one is not up to standards as it should be (Kirst-Ashman, 2007, p. 32). As you can see, the social work field can be utilized in different ways in benefit to whoever is relevant in the environmental situation that the social worker specializes in.
My major of psychology has many aspects that are quite similar to that of social work. It is seen as a career in which to help anyone in need so that they can function well within society. Psychology is broad and can be used in all sorts of situations and environments. Like social workers, there are psychologists that solely do research about the existing conditions in society, such as relevant mental illnesses and services provided to those people, as well as study ways in which psychology can be improved. Psychologists can work in schools, hospitals, and correctional facilities. In schools, they can be counselors doing very similar things as the social worker by counseling students with emotional or behavioral problems and give them therapy as it is needed. Also, psychologists and social workers both use partnership with clients to work towards the goal, although some types of psychologists are much more active in their roles to instruct the client, just as a teacher instructs a student, instead of simply working as a partner. The most similar aspect of social work in comparison to psychology is the area of medical social work. Both psychologists and social workers will work with patients and their families to inform them about the illness at hand and help them cope through it with therapy in the environments of hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, and through outpatient programs. In contrast, there are some aspects of social work that differ from psychology. For instance, social work focuses on environmental factors to see how it plays a role in the situation being studied. Psychology does not pay much attention at all to the environment and mainly focuses all attention on the patient and the inner-workings of the mind. Another difference is that social work is used to improve social and economic justice for all the people in a community. Social workers try to make sure that everyone has justice and a fair distribution of resources, whereas psychologists are not concerned with social justice or economic distribution (Kirst-Ashman, 2007, p. 23). Despite the few differences, however, the fields of social work and psychology are very similar with both simply trying to work in the community helping those in need.
The ideas and concepts that social workers utilize in order to help are very admirable. I do believe that everyone should be treated fairly in the community with respect to equal economic distribution and social justice. America has such as diverse population and cultural values can be different, but everyone should be appreciated for who they are and, hence, should have fair choices in life and services to help them. Social workers put forth their best effort in order to accomplish this, which is very honorable to me. Using these aspects throughout life should continue to make the world a better place, as both social workers and psychologists are trying to do. In my career path, I intend to use these values in order to make my future work atmosphere the best it can possibly be. I will be fair to those in need and help all the people that I possibly can in the world of psychology by making use of client-counselor partnerships and working towards better lives for more people. These values need to be used in more ways then just in the professional world, however. I believe that we can use the concepts of social work in our everyday lives by being open to people that are different from ourselves and by pushing the idea of social justice and fair services for everyone in our own communities. By doing these things, life can be made better for everyone in both personal and professional relationships, including my vocational pursuit of becoming a psychologist. Choosing a career is not easy, but it is important for me to have many values of social work in the environment where I will be working. I want to work in a fair environment with diverse people and be able to help everyone that comes to me in need, no matter what the problem is at hand. Social work and psychology work together to help communities and can, inevitably, make the world a better place to live in for everyone.
Kirst-Ashman, Karen K. (2007). Introduction to Social Work and Social Welfare (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA. Thomson Brooks/Cole Corporation.