how to become a social worker | code of ethics, education, license, etc.

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hello everyone welcome back to my

channel it's me Annie and for this

week's Mental Health Monday as it is

Social Work Appreciation Month which I

didn't even know was a thing but

apparently it is and I'm not complaining

I thought today I would make a video on

how to become a social worker right now

this is a general disclaimer about this

entire video but depending on the state

that you live in the country that you

live in there's different processes on

how to become a social worker even

depending on the program that you apply

to there's different routes there's

different classes and there's different

approaches so I would like to say make

sure to take what I say with a grain of

salt as and this is basically from my

experience what I know but I don't know

every little detail about every program

every state every country's rules on

social work so I will list a bunch of

resources in the description box down

below so you can check some things out

for yourself but if anything if you have

any question the Google search bar is my

best friend I could search everything on

the Google search bar anyway let's just

get sit into the video so before I get

into the Nitty Gritty like education

license your program macro micro social

work part of the video I really wanted

to start off the video by talking about

the NASW code of ethics so if you

clicked on this video you probably have

some interest on becoming a social

worker or you're on your path so you

need some validation whatever it may be

I always love to emphasize the code of

ethics because first of all they shove

this thing down your throat when you're

in social work school but honestly is

for a good reason I have a copy of the

code of ethics in my office at work I

truly truly believe in the NASW code of

ethics not only because you have to

abide by these ethics to be a social

worker and keep your license and not

have it revoked but social work is such

a delicate and powerful job where we

work with such vulnerable populations so

having this code of ethics always on

hand to kind of Center us because you

know we're human it's very easy for us

to be biased

it's that countertransference that we

talk a lot about in therapy and social

work so having a non biased code of

ethics I think has really helped me in

my career to make sure I'm on the right

path to helping people to the best way I

can the most ethical way possible so I

picked out a few

from the code of ethics and I'm gonna

read them to you and if this sounds like

something you're interested in I do

believe that you are on the right path

to becoming a social worker if you don't

care about any of these things if none

of these things really bring a bow for

you I would say maybe do a bit more

research before applying to social work

programs my computers right here I'm

just gonna be reading off it real quick

so the first value is service social

workers primary goal is to help people

in need and to address social problems

second value is social justice social

workers challenge social injustice

depending on micro social work or macro

social work how that will look is

different value three is dignity and

worth of the person social workers

respect the inherent dignity and worth

of the person this one is so important

value 4 is importance of human


social workers recognize the central

importance of human relationships value

one two three four five is integrity

social workers behave in a trustworthy

man value 6 is competence social workers

practice within their areas of

competence and develop and enhance their

professional expertise this one is so

important because trust me when you're a

social worker no matter what hi sorry my

cats here no matter what field or

capacity that you work in whether you're

in a hospital you're in a school you're

in a substance use program you're in a

government officials office you know

working on their policy based Social

Work you are going to be working with

people right and you're gonna have

clients who aren't gonna have not just

one need but have multiples of needs and

let's say you're in a doctor's office

and a client asks you about their

physical health social workers need to

always understand that we have to

operate always within our own license

we're not medical professionals we can't

give legal advice and all of this is to

not only help the client but to protect

the social worker and our license so it

does not get revoked if you're still

here and these values have kind of maybe

stirred up some feelings in here that

are positive and you feel like this

these are things that you care about

then it sounds like you are ready to be

a social worker so we can move on to the

next part which is schooling and

education so we're gonna start with

undergraduate schooling I have my

bachelor's in psychology just because

I've always been interested in mental

health and psychology

you don't have to have one in psychology

also there's undergrad schools that have

bachelors in social work so you can

obtain your BSW but honestly when I was

in Social Work school at NYU I've had

colleagues who came from all different

backgrounds they came from marketing

like business schools and then they

realized they want to do social work

there are even individuals who came back

to school after getting like their GED

and law degrees and decided to come back

so from what I've experienced in school

and from what I've read you really don't

need to have a bachelor's of Social Work

in order to go into a Social Work

master's program looking back on it now

I am glad that I majored in psychology

as opposed to a bachelors in social work

first of all I didn't know that a BSW

existed at the time because I didn't

know I was interested in Social Work so

I would say definitely do some research

on if a school that you're interested in

applying to maybe has a BSW if you're

interested in that and read up on

whatever that entails so undergrad

schooling basically you can have a few

study if you want but you don't really

have to and now graduate school most

Social Work jobs especially jobs in like

a clinical setting they require that you

have a master's degree to be a social

worker and to practice social work and

notice how I say most because really

depending on the state the job position

whatever it may be things are so

different but from what I have

researched most jobs do require a

master's degree because in order to get

your LMS Dovie which is your license in

social work you do need a master's

degree and when it comes to your

master's degree there's different paths

to getting your master of Social Work so

at least for me and NYU there were three

different ways of obtaining your MSW and

I've done some research around the

country on some really good Social Work

schools and it seems similar there -

that's what I'm putting it in here but

the first way you can get your masters

in social work is through the advanced

standing program if you're in the

advanced standing program essentially

you can get your master's degree in half

the time of a normal two-year program

because you've obtained your Bachelor of

Social Work so this is where your

undergraduate BSW comes in and why it

might be a positive for you to obtain a

BS w as opposed to a bachelor's and

something else you can combine your

bachelor's and your master

together in order to get your master's

degree like a year faster than like the

two-year program so if you go this right

would see that A+ is you can save money

and time in getting a master's degree

because you basically skip the

generalist like first year requirements

of an MSW since you've already done that

during your undergrad degree and you go

straight into the upper level coursework

I had two colleagues who did have their

BSW but one colleague did the advanced

standing and another colleague did the

regular 2-year program regular two-year

program is what I did pretty

self-explanatory it's a two-year

master's program first years journalist

courses second year it's more

specialized courses but I'm anyway the

one colleague who had our BS w and went

through advanced standing she said it

was a great experience she said you know

she saved money she saved time and she

came into her master's degree level

knowing more about social work that

other people which makes sense I knew a

lot about psychology but I know nothing

about social work because my bachelor's

was in psychology she came into the

master's program already with her

experience and internships and knowledge

from her bachelor's degree in social

work so she really liked that I had a

colleague who had a PSW but whatever her

personal reason was she decided to do

her two-year master's degree afterwards

instead of going be advanced standing

route and she hated it honestly she said

that a lot of the information especially

the first year was very repetitive and

she felt like she was wasting her time

and of course depending on the

individual it's a very different

experience but these are just the two

colleagues that I knew that had PSWs

coming into the Social Work program so

take that as you make one more thing

about the two-year master's program is

during the two years you are going to be

having an internship so you're first

chair you will be at one place second

year will be it one place in your place

through your Social Work program it's

called field placement so you're placed

out in the field the field placement is

really what challenged me and what

helped me grow as a commission I believe

of course the coursework of course the

literature that all helped very much as

well however I

understand why they emphasized field

placement so much because you've really

learned so much from hands-on experience

as opposed to just reading about it in

class so being able to read about it in

class and also get the hands-on

experience at the same time really

really made the two years of the Social

Work program very rich in content and

information and learning of skills the

third way you could get your Social Work

degree is through the extended program

an extended program is usually for

individuals who already have a full-time


they cannot fully commit to a full

course load so basically it is what it

sounds like your two years which is

what's general is extended into three

years unlike semesters into winter and

summer so you can focus on whatever your

other job is while also getting this

degree I've had some colleagues who were

also in the extended program and they

say the positive is that you can make

money while being in school because

trust me

I received some scholarships and grants

which were fantastic and it would not

have been able to attend school without

that however there was also loans that

you have to take up for school as with

American education higher level

education is not cheap even if it's

social work and there's a high demand

for Social Work all the time

so being in the extended program these

individuals were able to continue their

full-time jobs also being school so they

were able to take out less loans because

they can pay off school as they're doing

it a negative that was said about the

extended program is since it's three

years it feels really long so like the

program just kind of dragged on and

certain individuals we're ready for it

to be over so I don't know it's very

different for everybody

I guess one last thing when we talk

about the schooling and this is clearly

a very like surface level video on all

of this that's why I always say try

doing some research on your own because

there's a lot of information out there

but another thing that I thought was

important to put into this video is the

difference between different social work

programs and their focus and for example

when I was applying I knew that Columbia

University's School of Social Work

focused mostly on macro social work and

this is a part that I said I would lead

up to before but macro social work is

more policy based social work focusing

on larger scale social work problems

development community based social work

more on advocacy on the other hand and

while you focus more on clinical micro

work which is more that direct

interaction with an individual or with

family members so whether it's clinical

social work medical Social Work school

social work I was more interested in

working directly with people when it

comes to licensing thing I suggest go to

the aswb website that's also linked down

below all the information is there and

how to register it even the way to

register there's a link there where you

can't register you can call them once

again depending on the job position

depending on the state that you live in

depending on the country that you live

in it really depends on if you need a

license and Social Work there's people

who do social work jobs with just a

master of social work after they

graduate from a master's program there's

people who do Social Work jobs with just

a Bachelor and Social Work however

there's a lot of jobs especially

clinical jobs that would request that

you're a licensed master social worker

the first thing you have to do is apply

to take the exam and depending on the

scene that you live in count how many

times I say that in this video there's

different rules on when or how you can

apply to take the exam for example from

my personal experience when you take the

when you want to take the New York state

license exam you have to have graduated

from a Social Work master's degree

program so in order to take the exam you

have to finish school first

however in New Jersey the rule was a

little different where you could apply

to take the exam as soon as you were

enrolled in your last semester of Social

Work classes so this is the route I'd

say because although I wanted a license

in New York State I wanted to take the

exam before I graduated that way when I

graduated I don't have to think about

taking a licensing exam I would have

just been done and can apply jobs right

away so what I did I signed up and took

the exam in New Jersey which is right

here you don't like literally across a

river and then I paid a $75 score

transfer fee to transfer my exam scores

to New York State for the amount of

stress and anxiety that it's saved by

being able to just take it before I

graduated I think it was well worth the

money so after you've signed up for the

exam you paid for the exam you got to

study for the

down I use the general aswb study

workbook link it down below here's what

mine looked like right here some people

think they paid for individual classes

you know the some graduates we're

offering like paid out of pocket for

courses and things like that other

people they just took the exam without

any studying so it really is dependent

on what kind of person you are how much

you feel like you've a grasp of the

material but if anything the licensing

exam kind of reminded me of the SATs

where there is a lot of information in

it that you learn you do learn from

classes but some of the information in

it is just catered just towards this

specific test so you need to understand

how to take the test but it depends on

the individual I guess I studied for

three to five months I gave myself

chapters to finish every week and I just

kind of read over it I you know

underlined and took notes on concepts

that I kept forgetting it makes me feel

more at ease studying more than less

being more ready for an exam than less

ready so that's what I did

so the LMS W Social Work licensing exam

is a national standardized test just

like the SAT like I said which means if

you take it in one stay it's the same

exam in a different state so generally

it is a computerized exam where you sit

down and these really old like vintage

computers and you answer the questions

whatever and at the end of the testing

period you get your score right away

whether you pass or you failed so that

was extremely nerve-wracking so you get

your score and then it gets sent to the

board and then if you check on the Board

of Education website or whatever state

you in before you know what your name

will come up and it'll show that you are

registered and licensed as a social

worker and now you are officially a

licensed social worker and now there's

also the LCSW the clinical license that

I will not go into in this video because

this video is long enough as it is but

that's pretty much a license that you

can study for three years after you get

the L MSW but that's all I'm saying that

I will make in a future video I promise

the elements W versus LCSW and if you

even need it or not you could be a

social worker after a Bachelor of Social

Work you can be a social worker after


getting your master's in social work and

you can also be a social worker after

getting a license and Social Work since

there is such a need for social workers

in this field you could find yourself

operating as a social worker even in

different stages of this process and of

my opinion being a licensed social

worker gives you more leverage and

protection as an employee whether it

comes to your benefits or your pay and

also I think it opens a lot more doors

of opportunities of different kinds of

jobs you can do so yeah that's it for

this week's video on how to become a

social worker I hope all this

information was helpful to you in some

way I know it was a lot but hopefully it

wasn't too overwhelming if you have any

questions please don't hesitate to let

me know in the comments down below this

was so long my camera shut off please

like this video if you did like it I

make videos every Monday based on mental

health sometimes social work and on

Fridays I occasionally will post

something not sure what but yeah check

out my channel to see what I do post and

if you like what you see please make

sure to subscribe and yeah happy social

workers Appreciation Month if you're a

fellow social worker out there if you're

not then I appreciate you I don't know I

hope you have an absolutely wonderful

day and I'll see you in the next one bye