Social work covers a broad range of activities that provide aid to disadvantaged and vulnerable people in society. Social workers aim to create conditions in with families and individuals of all ages can thrive. The concept of helping the less fortunate has existed in one form or another throughout history. However, in the United States, social work first emerged as a formal field in the late 19th century. The first social work training class debuted at Columbia University in New York in 1898. Several decades later, in 1955, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) was formed.
Learning about social work can prepare you for a variety of jobs in areas like clinical work, substance abuse, child welfare, and policy planning. Clinical social workers focus on offering mental health services. Social workers who specialize in substance abuse offer counsel to individuals struggling with addiction. Child welfare workers offer aid to children who have suffered abuse, neglect, or lack a stable family structure. Social programs require lots of research and proposals, so social workers are also active behind the scenes of the legislation planning process.
Most of these jobs require you to combine your knowledge of social work with knowledge of another field. For example, an understanding of developmental psychology is essential if you plan to provide child welfare services.
Online courses will teach you about the origins of various issues relevant to social work, such as violence, addiction, mental health, and illness. You'll also learn useful skills such as psychological first aid, creative problem solving, and community organizing. Online courses feature video lectures, reading assignments, and quizzes with flexible deadlines. You can advance through the material at your own convenience and then use your knowledge and skills in the workforce.