Trauma Social Work programs invite students to explore the many different biological, psychological, and cognitive effects of trauma on individuals in different age groups, so that proper treatment and intervention methods can be applied for positive development. Trauma social work programs can also be ideal choices for upcoming students that have a desire to work in areas of society that are associated with foster care, mental health, and even adult protective services.

Trauma Social Work Focused Programs

If you were to review a current online program in this field, you might see courses that focus on general mental health and crisis intervention. In addition to these topics, you might also see some courses on general psychology, which can help expand your understanding of normal and abnormal mental health development. These courses can help strengthen your abilities to respond to clients in crisis and give you skills that can be useful when working with young children or even people within this aging population. Most degree programs providing training to trauma social workers may also contain elements that interrelated to psychiatric or mental health social work.

As you read through this helpful guide, you can see more about bachelor's and master's programs that can be useful resources along the way. Each of these educational aspects of social work can build upon information that you may have gained through general familiarity of the field, as well as what you will learn during your bachelor's programs.

Licensure for social workers can be achieved at either the bachelor's or master's level, making this a great field to pursue while employed and gaining relevant experience in the field.

Online Trauma Social Work Degree Programs

When you are prepared to begin your degree program, you are given the option of choosing from traditional learning programs or those found online. Increased attention to online degree programs in social work may be due to the fact that these programs can offer you the same basic program without having to attend courses in person - making for a more flexible learning experience as a professional. If you already have a full-time working position and are looking for ways to add to your current resume, online degree programs could be the right choice for you.

Employers do not differentiate much between campus and online programs

Many employers that are seeking out new trauma social workers may be just as willing to hire students from online programs as they would from traditional programs, mainly because of the self-control and independent learning that online students must engage in to successfully complete their program.

Accreditation is still very important

The accreditation of online programs can also add to the accepting of these degrees from employers, which can allow you access to more career opportunities along the way. While the program itself offers you different levels of convenience than traditional programs, they do require that you maintain your schedule appropriately in order to successfully graduate from them.

What online coursework looks like

  1. In the online setting, trauma social work programs may provide you with the opportunity to complete independent research projects through the use of online resources, pass online examinations, and submit homework on a daily basis.
  2. Online classes may also provide you with the option to attend your classes during the early morning, at various points during the day, or even in the middle of the night. This type of flexibility is part of what makes these programs so attractive for new college learners.
  3. Each online class may have independent expectations of learners, so it is important to get to know your classes on the first day of your program.

Bachelor’s in Trauma Social Work Degrees

The Bachelor’s in Social Work is the degree program that gradually teaches you about all of the basic information needed to be a meaningful social work professional. Most BSW programs do not provide you with the option to pursue a specialization, but rather give you experience and knowledge needed to pursue specialized fields at the master’s level. The online BSW program can be a great way to get licensed and gain some work experience prior to enrolling in the master’s program, which can give you more practical experience to use when learning about advanced skills during your next program. Take a look in the list beneath this section to see some programs currently seeking new applicants.

  • Millersville University – Online Bachelor of Social Work: The best first step towards a career in trauma social work is a reliable BSW program in the online setting. Millersville University current provides upcoming learners with an accredited online BSW program that supports learning about general social work practice, assessment and treatment planning, and follow-ups and coordination of services. This program can be completed in around 3 years for most learners.
  • Simmons University – Online Bachelor of Social Work: Simmons’ online BSW programs can be excellent resources for upcoming social work professionals interested in providing high quality services to the people they serve. This online program can prepare you to analyze the needs of people within your community in varying age and needs groups, as well as prepare you for advanced learning in the future. Students pursuing their degree online can choose from part-time or full-time options.

Master’s in Trauma Social Work Degrees

At the point that you are ready to pursue a higher level degree, you should seek out online MSW programs to enroll in. These programs can teach you more about conducting necessary assessments on the clients you work with, develop community or mental health treatment plans based upon needs, and providing the necessary interventions for wellness improvements. Some online programs at the master’s level can also lead you into clinical experiences, which can lead to higher level licensure as a practitioner in the field. If you are curious about some of the online MSW programs available to you, you should review some example programs provided by our team of experts below.

  • The University of Denver – Online MSW – Mental Health and Trauma: The University of Denver has identified some of the most important components for trauma social workers and compiled them into a reliable and socially relevant online MSW program. The online MSW – Mental Health and Trauma can help you delve into the brain of a trauma survivor in order to pinpoint specific lifestyle and mental health needs that can lead to overall life improvements. This program can be completed in around 2 years and can help you prepare for work with vulnerable populations in the field.
  • Simmons University – Online MSW – Trauma and Interpersonal Violence: Simmons University can provide you with the opportunity to look at specific types of trauma experience that take place in society, so that you can be prepared to intervene when your clients need you the most. The online MSW – Trauma and Interpersonal Violence specialization can be supportive in learning skills that can be used in social services, the legal system, and even in family and couple’s counseling. This program lasts 2-3 years for most enrollees.
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Common Course Work for a MSW in Trauma Social Work

The professional that you become in the field is essentially based on what you learned through your degree program and your experience in any required internships. This is why the curriculum of your degree program is such an important component in your success. In fields such as trauma social work, the courses that you take can help shape your perspective on the cognitive and emotional development of clients in your specialized field. Our team has looked deeply into online MSW programs currently being offered to students all over the country. What they have found during their search is that online specialized programs often have diverse specialty courses that can contribute to your extensive learning about your targeted population. Read more about these courses in the list following this section.

  • Advanced Social Work with Diverse, Vulnerable, and Resilient Populations: When working with individuals that have experienced varying levels of trauma, social work professionals should have the skills necessary to address diverse needs depending on a client’s historical experiences. This course can outline some common client experiences such as physical and sexual trauma, oppression, poverty, and neglect. An overview of theoretical treatment models and assessment methods specific to these groups can assist you in becoming a more effective social work professional in this specialized area.
  • Child and Adolescent Trauma: This course can assist you in learning more about the effects of trauma in childhood and adolescence. Students can explore some of the psychological and neurological changes that take place after a trauma experience, as well as how these experiences translate into adverse behavioral and emotional cues. Students may also identify different methods of treatment planning, social support, and cognitive support systems that can be beneficial when working with clients in this concentration.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: In order to be the best clinical professional in the field of social work, students must follow the necessary protocol for practitioners in the field. This course outlines the proven methods for successful patient-professional relationships, as well as evidence-based treatment models for clients with a wide variety of emotional needs. The interview and assessment process may also be discussed in this course in order to give students guidance on how to properly gather information while remaining connected and engaged with their clients during the process.

An Overview of the Trauma Social Work Area

Trauma social work is a growing field that may require the addition of new specialized professionals as the years progress. The number of children and adults that experience trauma is consistent within the United States, meaning there is a whole population of individuals with the need for specialized and coordinated services to help contribute to their positive mental health. Trauma social work can involve working with families that are experiencing separation, interpersonal violence, or neglect, as well as with individuals that have experienced abuse or aversive life circumstances,

In a professional environment, trauma social workers may evaluate new clients to determine what type of needs they have and the type of services that may be most fitting to improve their quality of life. This might mean setting up clients with therapeutic services, accompanying clients to court dates, or even mediating visitations between families that are working to establish a healthy relationship for reunification. Since the needs of trauma survivors can be diverse depending on the circumstances, the job description of the trauma social worker can also be diverse.

Being a part of this field can mean making a positive difference in the lives of others. State agencies may seek out trauma social workers to assist with families in need or even to provide expertise in the development of new social laws or expectations for these agencies to follow. The responsibility of the trauma social worker is to find ways to develop helpful treatment plans based on the needs of those in society that have been exposed to trauma in any form or fashion.

Common Trauma Social Work Career Options

The field of trauma social work may require the involvement of dedicate professionals that are willing to go the extra mile to help clients in needs. Oftentimes, trauma survivors may not be willing to directly ask for help or may not even be aware that there are programs available to help them heal and improve their lives. It is the role of the trauma social worker to guide individuals through the evaluation process and introduce them to services within the community that can truly change their lives.

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When you are at the point of job-seeking in trauma social work, you should identify the type of work you would like to see yourself doing in the field. If you would like to be a counseling professional, then you should be prepared to take part in supervised clinical experience and become certified prior to working with clients. If you are more focused on being a coordinator of services or active team member for individuals and families – then state agencies and mental health organizations may be a better option. Regardless of which professional path you choose to be a part of, there are people in the community that are in need of your guidance for a healthy lifestyle.

  • Social Workers: $47,980 on average per year (BLS).
  • Mental Health Social Workers: $43,250 on average per year (BLS).
  • Mental Health Counselors: $46,050 on average per year (BLS).