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What type of social work will you do?


BunnyMeadows
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I'm not sure if this has been covered already, but do you all know what path you are going to pursue?

 

Does anyone know if it's normal to change your mind after Foundation year?

 

I am very excited about a policy/community development focus, because I have an appropriate skill set, am a big, creative thinker, problem solver, and want to make a difference. 

 

My therapist is a Psy.D and opined that having an LCSW might be more marketable.

 

I would love to hear what you are passionate about if you feel like sharing.

 

Thanks :-)

 

 

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Well I am just starting my MSW career path and I know that I want to do concentrations in both mental health and AOD (I currently work for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services). For the state of Ohio, we have the LISW (LCSW in other terms) and this is what I am pursing. I will also be applying for my LCSW in California since I've been wanting to move to the Los Angeles area for the past 5 years (my best friend and her family live in LA).

 

I have absolute no desire to get a PhD or DSW; teaching is not my thing. Kudos to those who will continue on. For right now, I like being a peon and working in the field. I eventually would like to get my supervisor credential and create more MSW practicums for future Social Workers at the juvenile and adult prison facilities here in Ohio. I absolutely LOVE working with intern students for some reason

 

:-)

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When I started out I wanted to serve mikitary, veterans, and their families. I have previous experiences and both years of my internship were tailored to this demographic. I am now interested in getting my DSW in the future. I am also interested in substance abuse and dual diagnosis. Never thought my paradigm would shift :-)

Nicoleraychelle, did you mean to use the word peon?

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Hey there TLC!!!!  What's going on?! :)  I've switched from clinical to macro, still focusing on Veterans.  Although the switch was not entirely my choice (long, difficult story), it is definitely a much better option for me.  Earlier today I participated in a Social Innovation Day where I had an opportunity to meet the former Secretary of Massachusetts Veterans Services :)  Needless to say I connected with him lol 

 

Hope all's well with you TLC!  Maybe we could grab some coffee sometime.  Shoot me a message if you wanna connect!

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Nicoleraychelle, have  you looked into the licensing requirements for CA? I posted about it yesterday. If you are in a position to do it, that's great. And it's great that you have support here in CA. 

 

TLC, interesting that you want to pursue a DSW - to teach, do research, or both?

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When I started out I wanted to serve mikitary, veterans, and their families. I have previous experiences and both years of my internship were tailored to this demographic. I am now interested in getting my DSW in the future. I am also interested in substance abuse and dual diagnosis. Never thought my paradigm would shift :-)

Nicoleraychelle, did you mean to use the word peon?

LOL yes I did. Sorry if it offended you. Me and my co workers use this term as a running joke. I love being in the trenches, if you can say, right now in my career, doing individuals, groups, assessments and what not. By me being the newest and youngest at my job, i'm always getting left overs or things that my fellow co workers do not want to do. I've also met a lot of people in Social Work who just want a job that does not deal with the public, or only deal with things behind the scenes like supervision or training. Hence, I call myself a peon. I embrace it and love it :-)

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Bunny, I would like to pursue a DSW to delve deeper into research topics. I am mildly interested in teaching but I don't think that I need a DSW/ Ph.D. By mildly, I mean adjunct. Not tenured or anything like that. One of my favorite professors in my program is a master level practitioner and I think he is absolutely phenomenal. My mind may change in a few years and I may be perfectly content practicing at the masters level and not go for a doctorate, who knows? :-)

Nightwolf! I was thinking about you and am glad to see you "surface"! Social innovation day, is that akin to Lead Day? I will PM you, don't want to threadjack.

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Nicoleraychelle, have  you looked into the licensing requirements for CA? I posted about it yesterday. If you are in a position to do it, that's great. And it's great that you have support here in CA. 

 

TLC, interesting that you want to pursue a DSW - to teach, do research, or both?

 

Thanks and I have looked. I would have to an extra 18 hours in California law in order for me to qualify to apply. This is what I am trying to figure out right now, how to do this. I was going to apply to CSUN (my best friend graduated from their Education program last December), however when I read that you have to be available between 9-5 all through the week, I decided not to apply. A girl has bills to pay. I needed a part time or weekend program. I thought about applying to USC, but it is waaaay out of my price range, even for my tuition reimbursement through my job.

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Bunny, I would like to pursue a DSW to delve deeper into research topics. I am mildly interested in teaching but I don't think that I need a DSW/ Ph.D. By mildly, I mean adjunct. Not tenured or anything like that. One of my favorite professors in my program is a master level practitioner and I think he is absolutely phenomenal. My mind may change in a few years and I may be perfectly content practicing at the masters level and not go for a doctorate, who knows? :-)

Nightwolf! I was thinking about you and am glad to see you "surface"! Social innovation day, is that akin to Lead Day? I will PM you, don't want to threadjack.

 

I totally agree. I found in the undergraduate level the most awesome BSW professors that I had were the Master level adjunct faculty that were still working in the field. 

I would love to try to teach, however I do not think I can explain things well. Definitely do not want to get anything mixed up with potential Social Workers.

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Does anyone know how difficult(or easy) it is to find a position working in trauma or with military families/vets? These are the fields I'd like to be involved in, but am unsure of how to really tailor a plan to do so. I know working with the VA is one option to get experience in this field, but has anyone found other ways to pursue this route?

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Dx44 there are many options and avenues. I will be graduating soon and many of the direct practice avenues require a licensure. Then there's the VA and it depends on where you are regionally. States agencies and non profits also have programs geared to this population. Are you in grad school now? If this population is one that your passionate about I would suggest tailoring your field experience to them if possible. Both years of mine were. If you can take an elective for military/veterans/ and their families I would suggest that (unless you're a vet/AD). There are several contracting agencies that supply SW'rs to military hospitals and bases once your graduated and have your independent license.

Lastly, if you have the time, volunteering at the VA or with the Red Cross are viable options. I don't know how clinical you can get, it really just depends.

I am typing this as I'm on the subway so please forgive my haphazard response. I am very happy to tell you more or discuss this further if you want to PM me. I'm very passionate about this demographic and I've spent many years setting myself up and gaining experience so that I will be a competitive applicant.

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Bunny, I would like to pursue a DSW to delve deeper into research topics. I am mildly interested in teaching but I don't think that I need a DSW/ Ph.D. By mildly, I mean adjunct. Not tenured or anything like that. One of my favorite professors in my program is a master level practitioner and I think he is absolutely phenomenal. My mind may change in a few years and I may be perfectly content practicing at the masters level and not go for a doctorate, who knows? :-)

Nightwolf! I was thinking about you and am glad to see you "surface"! Social innovation day, is that akin to Lead Day? I will PM you, don't want to threadjack.

Social Innovation Day is different from LEAD.  As a macro student, I'm taking a class on Social Innovation and this was the culminating event.  Was very interesting.  I'm assuming that you went to LEAD?  What were your thoughts?  I lobbyed for a proposed bill aimed at further increasing substance abuse treatment services.  It was a mad house at the State House---but a vast majority of the legislatures were at the Ted Kennedy library opening ceremony.  I guess an event like that trumps LEAD lol

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Dx44 there are many options and avenues. I will be graduating soon and many of the direct practice avenues require a licensure. Then there's the VA and it depends on where you are regionally. States agencies and non profits also have programs geared to this population. Are you in grad school now? If this population is one that your passionate about I would suggest tailoring your field experience to them if possible. Both years of mine were. If you can take an elective for military/veterans/ and their families I would suggest that (unless you're a vet/AD). There are several contracting agencies that supply SW'rs to military hospitals and bases once your graduated and have your independent license.

Lastly, if you have the time, volunteering at the VA or with the Red Cross are viable options. I don't know how clinical you can get, it really just depends.

I am typing this as I'm on the subway so please forgive my haphazard response. I am very happy to tell you more or discuss this further if you want to PM me. I'm very passionate about this demographic and I've spent many years setting myself up and gaining experience so that I will be a competitive applicant.

Dx44, I will second that.  I'm a Veteran and having worked at the VA hospital along with my volunteering experience there, it greatly helps you.  One thing to add is the VA give preference to Veterans and disabled Veterans who are applying for jobs within the VA.  So just like TLC said, if you are interested in working with Veterans (which btw, I am very pleased to hear someone who is very passionate about my cohort), getting your foot in the door at the VA--whether it be through an internship or volunteering opportunity, is the MOST IMPORTANT THING!!!!!  To be quite honest, clinical internships at the VA are very hard to come by and are extremely competitive.

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Does anyone know how difficult(or easy) it is to find a position working in trauma or with military families/vets? These are the fields I'd like to be involved in, but am unsure of how to really tailor a plan to do so. I know working with the VA is one option to get experience in this field, but has anyone found other ways to pursue this route?

The VA is the most obvious route.  However, it's not the only route and as others have mentioned it can be difficult to get started there.  Honestly if you find an area where you know there is a high veteran population (usually the same areas where they have a lot of VA facilities) you can do social work in another area (addiction, mental health, housing, etc.) and get some good experience.  I worked in such an area and did case management for older adults and ended up doing a lot of work with veterans.  It helps you get familiar with VA and other community services and how to get people connected and it's a good resume builder as VA jobs open up (if that's where you're hoping to go).  There are also plenty of other private organizations who serve those populations that you can try for.  

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Right now I work at the American Red Cross in Service to the Armed Forces. I am Client Casework intern and have been doing work with military families in San Diego which has been a great experience.  My concern is in the fact that I am most likely relocating to North Carolina for grad school, so I am afraid that since I will be new to the area, and since San Diego has one of the largest concentrations of military families in the country, that it will be harder to find internships and fieldwork like I have access to here.

 

Maybe I can't write things off in my brain before I get there...

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I don't know where in NC you are going to and I won't pretend to know the geographical landscape. I will say that there is a gigantic base there, Camp Leguene and I am certain that mental health services are contracted off base. Not to mention the vet centers, VA's, non profits etc that care for that huge military/vet/family population. Opportunities may abound

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I had the same fear leaving San Diego and coming to the Northeast. It worked out in my favor. Feel free to PM me if you want to talk about your concerns and we can brainstorm some ideas. Or we can keep it public so that Nightwolf and others with our interests can chime in.

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I'm late to the party, but wanted to hop in re: 'marketability' of clinical vs. macro social workers.

 

Macro social workers usually have to be more proactive and creative in their networking, entering spaces where MSWs are in the minority or might not be considered part of the traditional landscape. It depends what kind of work you're looking to do, but macro social workers take all forms. Graduates from my cohort are now working as consultants, coordinators, directors, and analysts in varied settings--nonprofits, universities, government agencies, etc. Nobody 'changed' their mind from macro to direct practice during the program, but a handful did decide to return to direct practice and pursue licensure when they reentered the job market. Entering the program, many folks didn't necessarily have a particular population focus or an exact picture of what they wanted to do, but the program allowed us to explore different arenas and discover what made us tick and what didn't.

Edited by briefinterviews
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@briefinterviews: I think that is an excellent description.

 

Initially I planned to pursue the ADP/LCSW path, but as I learned more about social work - especially while working on SOPs for applications, which forced me to really think about my path -I began to realize that micro is probably not the best fit for me.

 

I have a lot of energy, am a natural networker (I founded a 501 c3 that supports networking for professional women and, 10 yrs later, it's still going strong), love writing researching/writing grants, and am passionate about addressing problems, and connecting people with resources and others who might help them.

 

I also have a business/communications background. However, I have gone back and forth on this, because I'm pretty sure that the statistics that support steady growth for the SW profession refer to direct practice, not macro - but I could be wrong about that.

 

I'm very interested in human rights, international work, refugees and sex trafficking. One of the reasons I applied to ASU is that they have a research center dedicated to sex trafficking research. I could see myself working on a government task force, doing research, etc. 

 

I don't mean to prattle on. My point is (yes, there is a point!) that I'm excited that the profession offers so many rich opportunities to make a difference in the world. 

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I am doing clinical track.  I want to have my own practice one day.  My dream job is to become a military or veteran social worker right out of school. I always heard a lot of good things about working in that area also I will gain so much experience. I did Child Welfare for my BSW focus and I thought of continuing on but as much as love children I didn't like the system as a whole in FL.  

Edited by Drdoom
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My focus is also directed towards the clinical track like Drdoom stated. My last job focused on housing the homeless population within my county while my current job works specifically with veterans as a non-profit grantee from the VA. I actually really enjoy working with veterans and the intersectionality of care that takes place in working with them. Especially right now, there is a lot of funding being provided targeting the veteran population and serving those within the population who are being underserved i.e. the homeless, people of color, and/or women sub-populations. I start SDSU in the fall and am hoping my second year I can be placed in something either working specifically with veterans again, or in a health/hospital setting, as health/hospital social work is where I ultimately would like to end up (Hopefully VA Medical). I'm hoping once I get to San Diego I'll find more likeminded people who want to serve the veteran population but aren't necessarily a veteran themselves, but have the passion to serve those who served. Looking forward to seeing where the road leads the next two years and if I change course...time will tell. 

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