Social work

If you enjoy helping others to deal with personal and social problems then social work may be a good career choice for you. Courses in social work teach you to understand and analyse the circumstances of people facing a variety of problems and challenges, and to develop strategies that will help to improve these circumstances or reduce their impact.

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Sometimes the problem is short term: supporting a family where a parent has died or is seriously ill, or settling in newly arrived migrant families. But often the focus is on people who are in for a long struggle: the poor, Indigenous communities, the aged, the chronically ill, families who are ‘dysfunctional’ and many others. Other roles in social work are very proactive and involve projects like helping to establish leisure, recreation or social services in new suburbs or building the infrastructure for people to gather and develop a sense of community.

The diverse areas of specialisation that social workers can choose from may include family, youth and child welfare services; medical and health services; psychiatric and general mental health services; disability services; juvenile and family law courts; aged care; income support; and mediation.

For more information about careers in social work, visit the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) website.

If you are interested in this field, you should also look into courses in education and training , health services and support , humanities and social sciences , law , nursing , paralegal studies and psychology .