When it comes to social work, continuing education is more than simply a good idea-it is almost always mandatory. Most states insist their social workers keep up with their classroom requirements throughout their career. Those states that do not have such requirements may still have a plethora of employers who do insist on it for their employees. Even if none of the above is true for your situation, improving upon your educational base is never a waste of time. It will help you if you ever want to move forward in your career or get a job in a different environment.
Of course, what social work continuing education you require will depend somewhat on what area of the field you are employed in. A good percentage of professionals are employed in the welfare field, helping individuals navigate what can be a difficult process to get the help they need. These workers, naturally, need to be educated in the system and understand the kinds of things they can offer to these individuals to help them. A lot of this will come from on the job training. Supplemental education, however, can help these professionals understand the situation their clients are in and give them the sensitivity they need to do their jobs well.
In some areas, continuing education in the field of child safety will be needed. This is particularly true if you plan to work for the Department of Children and Families or a similar organization. Professionals in this field will need to be able to identify problems in the home and notify the proper authorities if they see signs of abuse or neglect. They may also need to be well versed in the kinds of counseling these families can benefit from, as well as recognizing and identifying signs of drug abuse that could be adversely affecting the home environment.
In still other cases, social work continuing education can help the professional to learn more about what it takes to work within the school system. Social workers are often employed in the school district to be there for the children, identify the needs of families who are at or below the poverty line, and be there as a link for parents who do not speak English. It is almost always a benefit for a good social worker to speak more than one language, especially in diverse ethnic communities. Classes are often available to such workers at a reduced cost, and tailored to the kinds of needs a professional will face in these situations.
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