NJCMO Newsletter

Social work is defined as “work carried out by trained personnel with the aim of alleviating the conditions of those in need of help or welfare.” But it’s so much more than that. Social workers serve as advocates, allies, crisis managers, resources, along with a host of other roles, and they have the opportunity to make a real impact in the lives of so many.

While social work is commonly thought of as one-on-one services for individuals, social work spans a wide variety of situations and exists across many different industries. No matter the type of work being done, all social workers aim to improve the wellbeing of those they work with and on behalf of, promote social justice and empower the communities around them.

Social work is defined in three different ways: Micro, Mezzo and Macro.

Micro: This framework is focused on providing one-on-one services for individuals or small groups who are facing challenges or need assistance navigating complex systems. This could be anything from assisting youth who are struggling in school to providing individuals with a number of different counseling or therapeutic services. All New Jersey CMOs practice micro social work and utilize the Wraparound Model of Care to support the needs of the populations they serve.

Mezzo: This social work is geared around larger groups of people, whether in the community or a part of an organization. Social workers at the mezzo level may be coordinating care or implementing support systems or programs for the group they are assisting. Some examples of mezzo level social work include training and teaching new groups of social workers or implementing a substance abuse recovery program for prison inmates.

Macro: The purpose of macro social work is to advocate and create change at the highest levels and to combat larger societal issues. This could include policy or political work, conducting research, identifying and creating needed programs, and much more.

No matter the level of social work, it is not constrained to one or even a few settings. Social workers serve populations across a number of areas and can be found working in education, government agencies, healthcare, clinics and many other fields. 

Each state in the U.S. requires a license to practice social work, but each has its own licensing board which determines what qualifications an individual must have.  In some states, social workers must have earned their Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work or a related field, while in other states the bachelor’s degree along a Master’s of Social Work is required.  

Social work is incredibly vital to our society’s wellbeing and growth, and is one of the most rewarding careers within the wider social services landscape. For more information on the field, you can visit: https://www.socialworkers.org. If you’re interested in a career in social work and making a difference in a young person’s life, explore current job openings with New Jersey CMOs.

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