Social workers are health professionals who use counselling to help
people function in their environment, improve their relationships with others,
and solve personal and family problems. They also help people locate and access
appropriate resources for their particular needs.
A social worker may work in a hospital, community organization, or
private counselling. Most social workers concentrate on a specific area of
practice. For example, clinical social workers provide psychotherapy or
counselling and a range of diagnostic services in public agencies, clinics, and
private practice. Child or adult protective services social workers investigate
reports of abuse and neglect and intervene if needed. And medical social
workers provide counselling in hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation
facilities to people who are receiving therapy for physical problems or
Most social worker positions require a
master's degree (MSW). But many social worker positions, such as a child protective
services social worker, require a bachelor's degree (BSW) only. Licensing requirements vary from province to province.
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Donald Sproule, MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine