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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Fact or Fiction

UNI Department of Social Work

Fact or Fiction



  • More than 600,000 professionals in the United States hold social work degrees.

FACT: Social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. Employment of social workers is expected to grow by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.

  • The social work profession is limited to counseling and child protection.

FICTION: Professional social workers are found in every facet of community life—in schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, senior centers, elected office, private practices, prisons, military, corporations, and in numerous public and private agencies that serve individuals and families in need.

  • Social workers help people in all stages of life, from children to older adults, and in all situations from adoption to hospice.

FACT: Social workers are available to help all people who are in need.

  • Finding a job as a social worker is difficult because social workers do not have a professional license.

FICTION: Social workers are highly trained and experienced professionals. Only those who have earned social work degrees at the bachelor’s or master’s levels, and completed a minimum number of hours in supervised fieldwork, are “professional social workers" and are eligible for licensure that can be transferred across states.

  • You can find social workers in hospitals, schools, plice department, mental health clinics, private practices, military facilities, and corporations.

FACT: Social workers often specialize in one or more of the following practice areas:

Mental Health Therapy
Disaster Relief
Military Social Work
Rural Social Work
Adoption & Foster Care
Child Welfare Services
Family Preservation Services
Homeless Family Assistance
Eating Disorders
Hospital Social Work
Crisis Intervention
School Violence
Hospice and Palliative Care
Institutional Care
Chronic Pain
Outpatient Treatment
Development Disabilities
International Social Work
Advocacy, Consulting and Planning

Community Mental Health
Employee Assistance
Private Practice
Veterans Services
Child Abuse & Neglect
Domestic Violence
Political Development
Parent Education
Family Planning
School Alternative Programs
Difficulties in School
Gerontology Services
Community-Based Services
In-Home Services
Senile Dementia and Alzheimer’s
Addictions Prevention/Treatment
Criminal Justice
Housing Assistance
Public Welfare
Employment Services


  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for social workers is expected to grow twice as fast as any other occupation.

FACT: This is especially true for social work positions in gerontology, home healthcare, substance abuse treatment, private social service agencies, and school social work.