What does a Licensed Clinical Social Worker do?

A licensed clinical social worker provides counseling and assists people in finding housing and employment to help them overcome mental health or substance abuse issues. A social worker provides clients with the tools and resources they need to become productive members of society, regardless of their situation. He or she could help people with chronic disorders facilitating individual and group therapy sessions, arranging for special living accommodations, and researching long-term assistance programs. Hospitals, substance abuse treatment centers, inpatient and outpatient mental health clinics, and private practices are just a few of the clinical settings where social workers work.

Many people with mental illnesses are capable of functioning in society if they are given the right treatment and opportunities to succeed. A licensed clinical social worker counsels patients, enrolls them in work programs, and assists them in locating financial resources to help them overcome their mental health issues. He or she may also offer advice to a patient’s family, outlining how they can assist their loved one in leading a meaningful, independent, and productive life.

A licensed clinical social worker who specializes in substance abusers facilitates one-on-one and group therapy sessions, as well as initiating a recovery program. He or she assists a client in identifying issues and discussing solutions. After getting to know a person’s situation, a social worker may refer him or her to a psychologist or place him or her in a halfway house or other type of group home.

A master’s degree in social work or counseling is usually required to become a licensed clinical social worker. After completing a degree program, he or she is frequently required to work as an intern or assistant for at least two years before taking a licensing exam and working on their own. Many new social workers seek additional certification in order to boost their credentials and job prospects. The National Association of Social Workers in the United States offers a certification program for current and future clinical social workers. There are accredited organizations in many other countries that offer similar certification procedures.

Experienced clinical social workers are in high demand, particularly in hospitals and mental health facilities, to assist a growing population of mentally ill people. Substance abusers who are convicted of crimes are frequently referred to treatment programs rather than going to prison in order to reduce the prison population. Skilled social workers are critical in providing the care and education that such people require in order to turn their lives around and reintegrate into society.