Social Worker Month: What Exactly is a Social Worker?

March is social worker month. This year’s celebration, hosted by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), is “Social Work Matters,” which seeks to showcase the impact of more than 642,000 professional social workers in America.

But, what exactly is a social worker? Many people hear the term, but they might not know what the job of a social worker entails.

In a nutshell, social workers help people of all ages and backgrounds overcome some of life’s most difficult challenges.

Social workers actually provide most of the country’s mental health services. Clinically trained social workers make up 60% of mental health professionals, while psychologists (23%), psychiatrists (10%) and psychiatric nurses (5%) encompass a smaller percentage.

Typically, a social worker’s mental health work includes a combination of psychological, social and practical elements. Social workers have special skills in assessing, treating, and preventing psychological, behavioral, emotional, social and environmental problems affecting individuals in a negative way. You can find them in a number of settings, including:

  • Community mental health programs
  • Disaster relief programs
  • Employee assistance programs (EAP)
  • Military and veteran services;
  • Private practice
  • Hospitals and skilled nursing facilities
  • Schools
  • Rehabilitation programs

Social workers are highly trained and experienced professionals. Only those who have earned social work degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral levels, and completed a minimum number of hours in supervised fieldwork, are considered “professional social workers.”

Crossroads’ clinical team includes a talented group of professional social workers and psychologists who bring broad experience and different points of views to its clients. Meet Crossroads’ Outpatient Counselors

Want to learn more about the profession of a social worker? Visit