ABH Maryland

This Is How Social Work Impacts Communities


This Is How Social Work Impacts Communities

  • Mental Health

In honor of Social Work Month, we want to highlight the important roles social workers fill that impact our communities at large in a positive way.

Social workers are usually known for working in counseling, advocacy, and reporting which can range from direct counseling to individuals and families, advocating to community organizations on behalf of the community members, and even guiding clients through the legal system during court hearings.

A social worker is responsible for improving their clients’ lives by helping them discover and implement tools to manage stress or other obstacles they are navigating through at the time. There are social workers that work with children, families, adults, military personnel, schools, and those battling drug addiction and substance use disorder to name a few.

In short, social workers are modern day superheroes masked in medical scrubs or civilian clothing.

How Do Social Workers Impact Communities Specifically?

Community Social Workers

Community social workers identify the unmet needs in their communities. They assess community members in need of assistance and refer them to resources to help with issues they are facing. For example, if you are someone who is battling substance use disorder (struggling with addiction) or the loss of a loved one, a community social worker can meet with you and recommend rehab facilities, recovery meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous, or local therapists in the area for you to see. As an individual enduring loss or hardship, it can be overwhelming to try and find these resources for yourself, which is why working one-on-one with a social worker can take the burden off of you.

Child and Family Social Workers

Child and family social workers support children and their family members or guardians in many different ways. For example, if the child or parent is experiencing something like illness or needing assistance with specific parenting skills to meet the needs of the child, a social worker can provide support. A social worker can teach parents the best practices to offering their child with coping strategies for stress, anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues.

School Social Workers

A school social worker provides teachers, parents, and students with tools that can support them best in learning environments. With many factors affecting the mental health of students in 2022, such as a global pandemic, as well as the everyday struggles that come with being a young person today like dating, puberty, body image, and self-worth, social workers help inform teachers the best ways to serve the wellbeing of the students so they can be successful inside and outside the classroom.

Clinical Social Workers

Licensed clinical social workers provide counseling and therapy to those who struggle with a physical or mental health illness, addiction, or other trauma. Since clinical social workers hold the most advanced credentials, they can assess, diagnose, and treat clients, however they cannot prescribe medication. Only a psychiatrist, primary care physician, or physician’s assistant can prescribe medication.

Social workers can wear many different hats in our society and therefore are undoubtedly imperative to the health and wellbeing of their community. If you or someone close to you may benefit from meeting with a social worker, contact us today to find a provider near you.

Life can be challenging, but you don’t have to cope alone. Asking for help is a very brave action, and it be a life-lasting benefit. Let us help you along the way.

When you think of the well-being of a child, you first think of basic needs: food, water, and shelter. Once these needs are met, however, it’s crucial for a child to have emotional and social wellness as well. In this article, we will explore the impact social wellness has on the overall health of a child and great ways for children to garner social support in their lives.

It comes as no surprise that as human beings, we all need connection with others, no matter what stage of life we are in. In fact, having social support is a social determinant of health (SDOH) that significantly impacts the health of an individual. After spending the last few years in and out of isolation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, social support is more important now than ever before. Having social support means having family members and friends you can talk to and seek advice from when life feels challenging and overwhelming. Knowing you’re not alone in your life journey, especially as a child, creates a sense of belonging and empowerment throughout one’s life.

4 Types of Social Support

Emotional Support. This type of support lets you know that people care about you and have empathy for your experiences. Emotional support often looks like people checking in on you to let you know they’re thinking of you, and that they are there if you need anything. As a parent, make sure your child knows you can be a sounding board for them. If you have family members who can also show up for your children in this way, even better!

Practical Help. This type of support is when people give you something tangible or offer a service to help you out. This could be in the form of money, making food when you are sick, or helping to pack when moving. Having family and friends show up in this way shows your child what it looks like to be present for people you love.

Sharing Points of View. This type of support can often come in the form of affirmations and encouragement. For example, pointing out your child’s strengths to them and reminding them they can do anything they put their mind to. It can also look like sharing another perspective if they are being hard on themselves. For example, if they are angry with themselves after receiving a bad grade on a test, you can help them see it as a learning experience and a way for them to grow.

Sharing Information. This type of support is when someone shares what they’ve learned from their own life experiences. For example, if another parent has a child who struggles with socializing, they can share some tips and tricks they’ve learned to help their child find and create social support.

The Importance of Social Groups and Extended Support

Children who are connected to their family, friends, and people in their community have opportunities to learn how to speak, share, and get along with others. When your child feels connected to people in your neighborhood, it often allows them to feel physically safe which can alleviate stress and worry. Simply riding bikes, going on walks, and saying hello to neighbors with your kids can create this sense of security for them.

In addition to engaging with your neighbors, getting involved in local organizations can also create social support for your child. Signing up for a sports team, musical theater, art class or summer camp are all great ways to help your child meet new friends and learn important social skills that can carry them through their lives.

Tips for Helping Kids Make Community Connections:

Spend time outside in your neighborhood playing on the playground, going to a local farmer’s market, or scheduling a playdate with neighborhood kids.

Show your kids that connection is a two-way street. If your neighbors or friends go out of town, offer to get their mail, or water their plants and take your child with you when you go. This will show your child how you show up for people you care about.

Make sure you make time for socializing with friends as well. Your child looks to you first and foremost for how they should act and live their own life.

Encourage your child to step out of their comfort zone and do something they may be scared to do. As a parent, it’s your job to push them into something social for their own well-being at times.