Provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making referrals for other services. May also provide care and case management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease, and address barriers to access to healthcare.
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Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster average for all occupations. Increased demand for healthcare and social services will drive demand for social workers, but growth will vary by specialization. Employment of child, family, and school social workers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Child and family social workers will be needed to work with families to strengthen parenting skills, prevent child abuse, and identify alternative homes for children who are unable to live with their biological families. In schools, more social workers will be needed as student enrollments rise. However, employment growth of child, family, and school social workers may be limited by federal, state, and local budget constraints. Employment of healthcare social workers is projected to grow 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Healthcare social workers will continue to be needed to help aging populations and their families adjust to new treatments, medications, and lifestyles. Employment of mental health and substance abuse social workers is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment will grow as more people seek treatment for mental illness and substance abuse. In addition, drug offenders are increasingly being sent to treatment programs, which are staffed by these social workers, rather than being sent to jail.Read More
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