Trend 1: Technology in School, Supervision, and in Practice
One of the major social work trends is the development and acceptance of technology and internet-based platforms. We now have access to various tools and software to make responsibility and supervision easier and streamlined. In schools specifically, technology has opened up doors to:
- Online counseling and therapy sessions
- Video-based tutorials
- Social network support
- Tracking and updating patient and client files
- Greater access to treatment plans
- EdTech partners
- Educating and preparing the next generation of social workers
- Clinical supervision management and time tracking
- Easy communication with professors and field supervisors, and more.
Social work technology fulfills two purposes:
Project management software solutions, such as Tevera, have helped schools and universities train high-quality professionals and place them in psychotherapy agencies and other institutions.
On the other hand, companies are constantly developing new and faster technology as resources for social workers. With such technology, social workers reach more patients and students and work with improved efficiency. This way, they can focus more on providing care and support for their patients.
These technologies and software often comply with or follow protocol outlined by social work accrediting bodies such as the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).
Trend 2: Where Social Workers are Practicing
While most social work careers remain the same, a few have garnered more attention and demand than the others. These include school social workers and military social workers.
Schools are embracing social workers as a way of making schools a safe space for students. These social workers and counselors focus on creating a healthy and educational environment for students. They assess and identify factors influencing behavior and mental health issues and make appropriate suggestions.
Military social workers work with veterans to help them recover from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and enter society when they are ready.
In both fields, social workers work not only with the patient (student or veteran) but also with their families and support groups. They consider new and innovative forms of treatment to help patients get back on their feet and gradually integrate into society again.
Trend 3: The Job Market for Social Workers
This is perhaps the most exciting trend in social work. Social work as a career is on the rise and has grown tremendously in recent years. In fact, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (US BLS) predicts a 13% increase in the availability of social work jobs by 2029. That translates into the potential for more than 90,700 new jobs.
With a rise in demand comes an increase in salary. According to the US BLS, the median salary for social workers in 2020 is $51,760 per year, which was $49,470 in 2018. Note that the median pay differs from field to field. For instance, healthcare social workers may have a higher median salary than school social workers.
All this demand means there are plenty of social work jobs available for new graduates and professionals looking to switch fields. Look at the social work careers in demand right now on the Tevera Pro job site!
Trend 4: Continuing Education and Professional Development
Another key social work trend is the support for continuing education. As the field grows, we discover new areas of social work to focus on. It is not only important to keep abreast of trends but also make the most of professional development and educational opportunities.
The NASW, for instance, has a Continuing Education portal where social work professionals can access new educational opportunities online. Similarly, local social work organizations and chapters offer further professional development and networking opportunities.
Add to these trends the growing global advocacy for mental health and support. Businesses and institutions have been focusing more on students’ and employees’ well-being by offering on-site counseling services, mental health days off, wellness packages, and so on.
Social workers have never been more in demand. If you are looking for a career in social work, now is the time to create your career path.