Reclaiming Social Work
Social Work is the only field left that is controlled and co-opted by its main employer, the government. Local and State governments are allowed by statute to ignore licensing and educational standards. It is common to find non-clinical social workers doing “clinical” work despite the lack of clinical licensure, education and training. This is clearly a threat to the well-being of clients. Social Workers need to take back control, enforcement and standards of the profession for anyone holding themselves out to being a Social Worker. We do not allow nurses to perform brain surgery. Why are non-clinical Social Workers being allowed to do clinical work such as “diagnosing” and “treating” mental health? This is a regulatory issue which can be easily resolved. Progress can be measured by assessing Social Workers in the field and comparing their level of e education and licensure to their actual work. This work can be achieved by a interdisciplinary and cross-sector collaboration between the profession and government. There would have to be significant innovation to the solution since this all boils down to money rather than client safety, but it can be done.