When you think of a social worker, what is the first thing that comes to mind? For a lot of people, the image of a person working directly with individuals or families in the field is likely the most common answer.
Even though social workers can be found in a vast variety of settings, this may be the most common form of social worker in the U.S. today.
If you have found yourself reviewing social work degree programs due to your desire to help others, you might possibly be interested in learning about Individual and Family Practice as a potential option for your degree.
This area of social work includes providing individually designed services to people with various needs, assisting families with gaining access to services, and working for agencies that are set on providing services to a wide range of individuals in the public domain.
What is Individual and Family Social Work Practice?
Individual and Family Practice can lead you into secondary fields such as social services, health and wellness, education, and even the legal field.
Social workers can be an excellent addition to any team that can provide assistance to people in need.
Prospective students that are seeking a degree program that teach them more about the methods available for use with clients in the field could possibly increase their abilities through the curriculum and training requirements present within this program.
Our team of researchers has created this guide in order to provide you with well-reviewed information about the degree acquisition process from start to finish.
Online Individual Family MSW Programs
Starting with the very basics, an online degree program is a degree option for students that have little interest in obtaining their degree through traditional means. Students can locate, enroll in, and attend these programs completely online.
The average online degree program consists of individual courses that students can log in to via their computer and an internet connection.
Inside each course, students may find an organized outline of the course assignments, study tools, and due dates for their particular class. Students may be required to log in a minimum of 1-2 times each week and have assignments completed by pre-determined due dates.
Who Should Study an Online MSW Program?
These online degree programs may be an extremely popular option for prospective students - especially those that have already obtained full-time jobs and are seeking methods for advancement.
In terms of availability, there are hundreds of current online degree programs available throughout the United States. Students that are concerned with the reliability of validity of online programs can rest assured due to the accreditation process that may be required for online programs in social work.
Online CSWE Accredited Social Work Programs
The Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accredits online degree programs at the bachelors and masters level. This organization can be your go-to resource for finding schools with the right type of program, since it can validate the accreditation of your program for licensure.
If you plan to obtain your license as a social worker, you should make sure to choose a program that supports this path. Some of the top online programs in Individual and Family Practice are listed below for you to browse.
More Online BSW and MSW Programs:
- Briar Cliff University
Online Bachelors in Social Work - Online Full-Time and Part-Time Options Available
- Boston University
Online Masters in Social Work - Online Part-Time, Advanced Standing, Human Service Experience, and Traditional Options Available
Studying a Focused Social Work Program Area
Individual and Family Practice may an incredibly broad field for you to major in. Degree programs within this area may provide even more specific focuses, depending on which group of people you might be more interested in working with.
If you have a preference toward working with children or the aging population, there may be degree specializations that are more suitable for the job you desire. Check out some of the degree specializations that can fall into this specialized area of social work below.
- Children, Youth, and Family Practice
- Direct Practice
- Advanced Clinical Practice
Bachelor’s of Social Work Degrees
If you are brand new to college education, you should consider a Bachelors in Social Work to start you off on the right foot. The reason why people move into BSW programs at the beginning may be so that they can learn everything they can about their field during the college experience.
Social work is an incredibly diverse field that contains many different subjects such as psychology, sociology, medicine, policy development, and ethics. In order to truly get the most out of your education, you should plan accordingly from start to finish.
However, students that have already obtained a bachelors in another subject area can still move forward into MSW programs through easy means.
CSWE Accredited Online BSW
Choosing a reliable bachelors program also does not have to be a challenging mission. Students that plan to become licensed after graduation must choose from one of the many accredited bachelors programs currently offered online.
The CSWE provides a wide range of different online bachelors programs, some hybrid and others completely online, for students to become involved in. In addition to the degree requirements, students may also be required to take part in an internship requirement through a social service agency and complete an examination before becoming licensed.
Our team has listed a few options for online BSW programs below for you to review.
- Brandman UniversityOnline Bachelors in Social Work – Online Full-Time and Part-Time Options Available
- Northern Arizona UniversityOnline Bachelors in Social Work – Online Full-Time and Part-Time Options Available
Master’s in Social Work Degrees
For those of you that have finished your bachelors degree, you might be more interested in learning about what may be available for you at the masters level. Students from degree programs in social work can take advantage of advanced standing degree programs that can help you build on the knowledge you have from previous degree programs plus any experience in the field.
Do not fret if you are from another degree specialization, though. The traditional path of the MSW can be a great resource for students from a variety of educational backgrounds.
You may be looking for an Individual and Family Practice degree program that can help you learn more about the techniques relevant to providing direct care to the public. There are many online masters programs that can provide you with exactly what you need to help others in the field.
The online Masters of Social Work program may also require you to engage in an internship or supervised work experience along your path to higher licensure, so you should definitely consider these aspects before choosing a program. Read along in the list below to see more about these programs and where you can find them.
- Case Western Reserve UniversityOnline Masters in Social Work – Direct Practice – Child, Youth, and Families – Online Full-Time, Part-Time, and Advanced Standing Options Available
- California State University at Long BeachOnline Masters in Social Work – Children, Youth, and Families – Online Part-Time Option Available
Typical Master’s Coursework to Expect
The actual guts of your degree program should be an aspect that you review thoroughly before submitting your application. Since this degree program can lead to licensure, there may be some in-person requirements that require extensive planning and preparation in the beginning.
Each online Masters in Individual and Family Practice should have an outline on its website that shows you at which points internships may be required, as well as any additional training elements that concern you. Searching for these answers prior to enrollment can help you organize your experience accordingly and minimize unpleasant surprises.
The course work that you may be expected to complete during your degree program can also be discovered through a thorough review of the curriculum.
Learning about the courses that you can take during your program can assist you in gaining information about the type of job you are preparing for, the people you might work with, and the skills that you may need to be an effective professional. Our team of experts has reviewed some popular masters programs in the field and provided you with some common courses and their descriptions below.
- Health and Social WorkPart of the role of the social worker may be to intervene when people are in need of guidance with difficult health-related issues. This course can help students gain a better grasp on common health-related concerns present within the field of social work, methods for working with healthcare agencies, and information regarding personal and state insurance plans.
- Substance Abuse Practice in Social WorkSocial work students enrolled in this course can learn more about how substance abuse can affect members of the communities, their families, and the environment. Preventative services, intervention services, and continual support systems may be discussed as options for clients. Family history, experiences, and exposure may be discussed through the course as a means of understand the epidemic and how it can be stopped. Students in this course may also explore different recreational substances currently trending among substance abusers in society.
- Child Welfare ServicesStudents participating in this course can learn more about state and local organizations built to serve children. This may include interruptive services in the event of abuse or neglect. Students can learn about the historical development of this field, policies that helped to determine the laws and regulations surround in, and how it operates in today’s times.
An Overview of Individual and Family Practice as an Industry
Now that you have read more about the degree programs in this field, you may be wondering about what your duties might be when working as a social worker in Individual and Family Practice. The truth of the matter is that you may have many different roles and responsibilities through your professional experience in this field.
The job of the social worker can vary from advocate to mentor, with some elements of decision-maker and parenting specialist involved. If you plan to work in a particular field such as family services or individual counseling, these can also affect the type of work you do in the field.
In general, social workers may be responsible for working with individuals or families that are in need of assistance through difficult circumstances within their lives. They may conduct interviews to determine issues, identify strengths, and find patterns that could be contributing to current issues.
They may then conduct a plan of action that can include the implementation of services, legal actions, or connection with various agencies within the community. If you would like to read more about specific tasks assigned to social workers in this field, browse through the list below.
- Family Mediation/Reunification Services
- Management of Individual or Family Mental Health Services
- Teaming with Provider Agencies
- Frequent Appointments/Visits at Home, Work, and School
- Court Advocacy for Clients
- Follow-Up/Continuous Services
What Types of Jobs or Careers Are There?
Recruiting ads for social workers have historically stated that people filling social work positions are often individuals that have benefited from these services in the past. If this is true for you, you may already have an idea about where you would like to work once you are licensed.
Individual and Family Practice professionals may have the ability to choose from several different professional realms, since their practice can apply to people within all settings.
Social and Mental Health Centers
Most professionals that choose to complete a degree in this field may work for agencies such as Child and Family Services, Child Abuse Advocacy Centers, Mental Health Facilities, or even Healthcare Centers.
Non Profit and State Organizations
These are not your only options though. Non-profit agencies and state organizations focused on providing excellent care to the people within their communities may seek out knowledgeable professionals to assist them along the way.
In order to help you see what types of careers may be available to you after graduation and licensure, our team has listed a few of the more popular social work positions below for you to browse. As you read through, consider which of these could be most fitting for your skills and personality.
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- Youth Social Worker
Youth social workers can be found in a variety of settings including social service agencies and educational facilities. These professionals may work specifically with children in an effort to be a supportive resource in educational planning, problems within personal lives, and providers of support when services are needed. If you choose to work in this field, you can potentially find careers for local children’s services agencies or even working through a school system in need of social work professionals.
- Family Social Worker
Family social workers can work directly with clients that are experiencing hardships relating to several different facets of normal life. Families that are in poverty may seek out the services of family social workers in an effort to locate services that can be useful to them. Other families that have experienced trauma, disaster, or relocation may also seek out these professionals to help get them on track to a healthy lifestyle.
- Child Abuse Social Worker
Social workers that choose to work with victims of child abuse and their families may require additional training and development into the effects and trends of abuse. In this field, social workers may be called in when a report of abuse has been received. They may play a role in the relocation of children to a safe location, implementation of therapeutic services for the youth and their families, and coordination of services that can work towards family reunification.