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Social Worker

The duties of a social worker vary. New Brunswick communities, families, groups, and individuals rely on social workers across the province. They provide counselling, therapy, and referrals to other supportive social services. They help people develop the skills and resources needed to resolve problems affecting their well-being in order to function in society. Some may specialize in fields of practice such as child welfare, family services, corrections, gerontology or mental health, and addictions. Social workers who possess Advance Practice Registered Social Worker (APRSW) licensure may even provide mental health diagnosis. They are an incredibly important, broad part of New Brunswick’s healthcare network.

Compassion, patience, and understanding are the core values of social work. Oftentimes, social workers engage with vulnerable people in difficult situations, which requires a level of critical thinking, communication skills, and resourcefulness in order to effectively help them. Through counselling and therapy, social workers will work closely with individuals, families, groups, and assess each client’s situation carefully to determine the best services and treatment needed. They are passionate advocates for the community, and their impact is felt across New Brunswick.

Personal Characteristics and skills

  • Maturity and emotional stability
  • Patience
  • Sensitivity to and an understanding of beliefs and values not your own
  • Critical thinking skills and good judgment
  • Resourcefulness
  • Communication

Social workers in New Brunswick have a variety of important roles, including but not limited to:

  • Helping clients develop skills to cope and resolve their social and personal problems
  • Working with clients individually, in families, or in groups
  • Planning programs for clients, including referrals to agencies that provide financial assistance, legal aid, housing, medical treatment, and other services
  • Investigating cases of abuse or neglect and taking authorized protective action
  • Working on interdisciplinary teams of professionals working with client groups
  • Developing or advising on social policy legislation
  • Conducting social research and assisting in community development
  • Lobbying for solutions to problems directly affecting client groups
  • Developing prevention and intervention programs to meet community needs
  • Providing mediation services and psychosocial assessments
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of counselling and social programs
  • Providing public education and consultation to professionals or groups

The working hours and conditions of a social worker are incredibly diverse, depending on their work setting and level of commitment. Some social workers have normal office hours while others work shifts, including evenings or weekends. They often divide their time between face-to-face contact with clients, and completing assessments, case studies/plans, and reports.

Social workers work in a variety of settings, such as:

  • Hospitals and community health clinics
  • Mental health and addiction services
  • Social service agencies
  • Family and child welfare organizations
  • NB Health Link program
  • Community agencies
  • Schools
  • Correctional facilities
  • Government social service departments
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Private practice

Licensure and certification: must be actively registered with the New Brunswick Association of Social Workers (NBASW).

Social work programs are offered in New Brunswick by the following educational institutions: