6 Types of Social Workers Who Change Lives

Social workers are essential members of society, advocating for change for those who need it, connecting individuals to needed community resources, supporting people through challenges, and more. They are extremely passionate individuals dedicated to changing the lives of others. There are many different types of social workers, specializing in different areas of the community. 

Here are 6 types of social workers specialized in different areas who change lives every day:

Clinical social workers

Clinical social workers (CSW) are social workers who are licensed to diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional disorders. They work with clients to develop strategies to help them cope with difficult situations. Clinical social workers also may refer a client to a mental health professional. Clinical social workers may work with doctors or other medical professionals to develop a treatment plan. Tracking a client’s progress towards goals is important, as this may cause their treatment plan to change over time.

Community social workers

A community social worker is focused on improving the lives of a specific population. They may work individually or with a group. Community social workers work to unite the community under one shared goal. They often work alongside community organizations and nonprofits to solve local issues.

Family social workers

A family social worker is specialized in helping families overcome challenges that they cannot face on their own. These challenges can be related to difficulties like abuse, addiction, financial problems, or stress. Family social workers help families in need create a plan to solve their problems. They determine the kind of help a family needs and then research and coordinate the appropriate services for the family.

Criminal justice social workers

Criminal justice social workers specialize in assisting individuals who were formerly incarcerated. They help connect these individuals to reentry programs in their community that can help them successfully reenter society and reduce their chance for recidivism. Criminal justice social workers may also assist their clients in finding legal resources, support them in life skills development, or find opportunities for employment. Some criminal justice social workers also support people who have been impacted by a person’s incarceration, like the child of an incarcerated parent.

Mental health and substance misuse social workers

Mental health and substance misuse social workers help assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or addiction problems. Many work in hospitals and assist people who are struggling with substance misuse related to drugs or alcohol. These social workers help people find the right support group that can help them overcome or cope with the challenges they face. They help create both short-term and long-term plans to support people battling a mental illness or substance addiction. 

Child social worker

A child social worker specializes in supporting children in need. These social workers may protect children from abuse, neglect, or an overall unsafe environment. Child social workers also help children find a stable environment by placing them with a foster family or arranging adoptions. They also may help children cope with crises at school related to behavioral issues, grades, or bullying.

There are many kinds of social workers that do impactful work that makes society a better place. Social workers have the power to change people’s lives for the better. No matter what they are specialized in, spending personal time with clients is extremely important and valuable to all social workers. Finding the right tool or social work software to reduce manual effort while securely keeping track of a client’s information and progress towards goals is crucial. Pieces Connect is a cloud based case management software and referral directory that does just that! It allows social workers to easily store their clients data and refer them to resources in their community with the touch of a few buttons. As a social worker, knowing that your client actually received the help you directed them to is necessary. Pieces Connect enables closed loop referrals, which means you can spend less time making follow up calls because the results of your referrals are already available to you. Saving time on administrative tasks means that you can spend more time on the things that matter most to you, like building strong relationships with your clients and helping them in their time of need.


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