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Social work assistant.

SOCIAL WORK ASSISTANTS ARE PART OF A TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS WHO PROVIDE SUPPORT AND services for families and individuals such as the elderly, the homeless or those with physical or mental disabilities. Working with licensed social workers, they help plan and implement treatment for their clients. Their duties may include assisting with essential personal daily activities, providing transportation for medical appointments, and researching and coordinating services such as Medicaid, child care, food stamps, housing, job training, and mental or physical rehabilitation services.

The Workplace

Social work assistants are often employed by local and state governments, as well as in public and private hospitals and clinics, nursing and rehabilitation facilities, residential care facilities, group homes and shelters. They may also work for nonprofit organizations or for-profit service providers.


According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while some organizations that employ social work assistants may require only a high school diploma, others require a certificate or associate degree in social or behavioral science or human services. BLS also notes that both the level of responsibilities given to a social work assistant, as well as the opportunities for advancement, will be greatly increased for those with some postsecondary education.


The BLS reports that in May 2014, the median hourly wage for social and human service assistants was $14.32, with the highest 10 percent earning more than $22.85.

Job Outlook

The BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook projects strong employment growth for social work assistants--approximately 11 percent from 2014 to 2024. This growth is attributed to a number of factors, including an increase in our elderly population and a need for assistance and support of social workers in providing services to families and children. Other factors contributing to job growth are federal policy changes that will result in more people having access to health insurance, as well as more people with addictions receiving treatment rather than jail sentences.

By Susan Reese

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Title Annotation:CAREER CURVE
Author:Reese, Susan
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2017
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