The Top Issues Social Workers Face Today
Being a social worker is an incredibly selfless job. You’ve dedicated your career to helping others cope with their problems. This is very rewarding, but it can also weigh heavily on you.
Since real life doesn’t stop at 5 p.m., it’s not uncommon for you to work nights, weekends, and holidays — as needed by your clients. You’re okay with this because making a positive impact on their lives is your top priority.
Despite your positive attitude, you’re often frustrated, because many of your clients suffer from the same issues. Here’s a look at some of the common problems that affect both you and those you serve.
Too Few Public Assistance Programs
Public assistance programs are designed to help low-income residents afford a healthy, safe lifestyle. A few examples of this type of aid include food stamps, childcare assistance, and public housing.
These resources can help people get through hard times, but many communities don’t have properly funded programs. A lack of assistance means people are unable to get the help they desperately need, which can make your job feel impossible.
Limited Access to Health Food
A balanced diet is essential to a healthy lifestyle. However, everyone doesn’t have access to a hearty supply of healthy food. In many areas, fresh fruits and vegetables are limited, so stores charge sky-high prices low-income residents can’t afford. When people are forced to primarily live on canned and pre-packaged food, their health suffers. You probably see this a lot and feel like your hands are tied.
Lack of Insurance Coverage
Healthcare costs are constantly on the rise, making it nearly impossible to pay for services without insurance coverage. The problem is people who are out of work or who have jobs that don’t include insurance coverage often can’t afford to pay out-of-pocket for it.
While the Affordable Care Act has helped a lot, it certainly isn’t perfect. You’re likely frustrated a lot because many of your clients are probably not getting the healthcare they need.
Interaction with others is a basic human need, but many people aren’t getting enough of it. Many senior citizens, disabled individuals, and those suffering from other issues often feel isolated from others. This can lead to serious mental health concerns, such as depression and anxiety. These cases can be very hard for you to assist with because there’s not always an easy solution.
Shortage of Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
The median annual salary of a social worker is $49,470, as of May 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Clearly, you didn’t choose this line of work for the money, but you still need to maintain a comfortable standard of living. The problem is, the average 2018 college graduate has $29,200 in student loan debt, according to The Institute for College Access & Success.
Student loan forgiveness programs can ease the burden by paying part or all of your student loans if you work in a designated shortage area for a specified period of time. However, these programs are few and far between, making social work a financially unfeasible field for many students.
Searching for new social work opportunities? If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.