Social workers are available in most communities to help people with many kinds of problems. They are especially helpful for foreigners who have trouble with government agencies. Social workers are highly trained licensed professionals, and many of them are dedicated to helping people find access to all of society’s resources.
Child, family and school social workers may help single parents find day care, help with adoptions of children, and arrange foster care for children in need. Some specialize in issues such as domestic violence, or dealing with homelessness. In schools, social workers may act as a link between students’ families and the school, deal with emotional problems among young people, truancy, drug and alcohol issues, contraception and teenage pregnancy.
Medical and health social workers specialize in helping people find health services, especially among vulnerable or poorly served populations. These are the people who can help arrange at-home services, such as meals-on-wheels or home care, deal with the specialized problems of senior citizens living alone, or counsel families who must send terminally ill relatives for hospice care.
Mental health and substance abuse social workers offer therapeutic services for people with mental health issues and for people struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. These professionals refer people to appropriate substance abuse rehabilitation programs. In conjunction with this, they provide skilled counseling services for the families of the people they help.
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