Social Work Programs

December 5, 2011

Military Social Work Programs

Filed under: military social work — Tags: — admin @ 3:26 am

military social workThough it may seem an unlikely place to find social work programs, the military is an excellent environment for social workers to find jobs and acquire experience in a variety of areas. The University of Southern California offers a graduate program in military social work that allows students to train specifically to serve in the military. Students are offered the chance to specialize in this sub-concentration, which can be combined with other concentrations including Mental Health, Families and Children, and Community Organization Planning and Administration. Positions include working individually or in groups with veterans or active members of the military suffering from mental health disorders such as Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, substance abuse, or depression.

Social workers can also be useful in helping veterans or active military personnel to seek out additional services for themselves or their families. Students in the graduate social work program at the University of Southern California are given the option of a sub-concentration in Military Social Work, and are required to complete at least 600 hours of practicum hours in a military setting working with veteran populations. The University of Southern California Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families is a special facility designated to conduct coursework and research specific to veteran populations and their families.

The Fayetteville State University (FSU) Department of Social Work located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, has recently begun collaboration with the United States Army in offering a Master of Social Work program at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. FSU currently is three years into a four-year contract to offer students the opportunity to earn their MSW degree and serve as a social worker in the Army. The FSU program is particularly unique due to the student population, which consists of veterans who are experiencing military culture firsthand.

Students enrolled in the FSU Master of Social Work program are expected to complete the program by taking classes full-time for one calendar year, which includes two full semesters of field instruction in which students are given the chance to obtain “real life” social work experience in a military setting. After completing coursework in the first calendar year, FSU social work students on active duty are enrolled in the Social Work Internship Program (SWIP) in which they must complete a two year internship at military installations. After these two years are completed, students are prepared to take the Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) exam and can practice military social work independently.

Though this training may seem lengthy, it gives FSU social work students the chance to prepare for the formal LCSW exam; helps students gain a variety of experience in several settings; trains students specifically to address needs of military personnel and families; and prepares students for possible deployment.

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