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Social Worker Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Social Worker, or Social Work Officer, works to improve the overall well-being and lives of their clients by providing support and advice. The main responsibilities of a Social Worker include conducting individual and group counselling, providing clients with recommendations for support programs, and researching community resources to help their clients.

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Social Worker duties and responsibilities

When writing a job description for a Social Worker, it is important to specify the main functions of the role. Some general duties and responsibilities required to excel as a Social Worker include:

  • Facilitating partnerships with families, staff, and other agencies
  • Working closely with nursing staff, leadership teams, and other members of the interdisciplinary team
  • Referring clients to agencies that provide financial assistance, legal aid, housing, medical treatment, and other resources
  • Supplying counsel and therapy to help clients resolve social and personal problems
  • Planning programs of assistance for clients
  • Interviewing clients to assess their situation to determine the type of services required
  • Providing consultation services to government and other organizations, such as the Canadian child welfare system
  • Conducting research to keep up-to-date on the latest trends in social care work
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Social Worker Job Description Examples:

What does a Social Worker do? 

Social Workers spend their time meeting with clients and their families to provide support and ensure their physical and mental health needs are being met. Generally, a Social Worker will work within a broader interdisciplinary team, so collaboration and communication are essential for this role. A Social Worker will also plan programs to help clients to achieve their goals, plus need to identify and implement action plans to help clients overcome problems and challenges.

Social Worker skills and qualifications

A successful Social Worker candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications required for the duties of this job, including:

  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Ability to independently and as part of a team
  • Using sound judgment in stressful situations
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Firm values and ethics
  • Remaining focused on the client at all times
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

Social Worker experience requirements

Generally, Social Worker candidates will need to have at least two to three years of experience in a similar role. All candidates should have supervised practical experience. If you’ll need your Social Worker to work with a particularly vulnerable or challenging population, make sure the candidate has experience with that group.

Social Worker education and training requirements

Social Worker candidates must have a Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent qualification in Social Work. Candidates in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta must be registered with their provincial governing body. To practice as a Social Worker, candidates must have passed written and practical examinations. If your position requires the Social Worker to travel to meet clients, you may require candidates to hold a valid driver’s license.

Social Worker salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Social Worker in Canada is $64,441 per year. Actual salary can vary depending on many factors, including experience, location, and the hiring company.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Social Worker isn’t quite what you are looking for, other related job descriptions include: 

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Social Worker job description FAQs

What should you look for in a Social Worker's resume?

Look for a Social Worker candidate that meets your education and experience requirements. An ideal Social Worker candidate may also have a Master’s degree in Social Work. If the Social Worker will be working with a certain population, such as children, make sure they have relevant education or experience working with that population.

What qualities make a good Social Worker?

A good Social Worker will have excellent communication skills and can build a relationship with clients quickly. When looking for a Social Worker, look for someone who has a calming manner and the ability to diffuse tense situations. A great Social Worker will also be an active listener and have a strong moral compass.

What's the difference between a Social Worker a Psychologist?

The main difference between a Social Worker and a Psychologist is that Social Workers generally look to provide holistic solutions for their clients. Some of these solutions can include behavioural, economic, social, or health problems. A Psychologist, however, will look to provide solutions or advice for clients who are suffering from mental health issues.

How do you make your Social Worker job description stand out?

The best way to make a Social Worker job description stand out is to be specific about the clients they will be working with. The job description must list all of the educational requirements for the role that go beyond standard requirements. Another great way to make your job description stand out is to include any benefits, such as a defined pension program or RRSP-matching program.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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