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Career and Education Opportunities for Mental Health Social Workers in Joliet, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for mental health social workers in the Joliet, Illinois area. About 3,750 people are currently employed as mental health social workers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow 39% to about 5,200 people employed. This is better than the national trend for mental health social workers, which sees this job pool growing by about 19.5% over the next eight years. In general, mental health social workers assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs.

A person working as a mental health social worker can expect to earn about $15 per hour or $33,010 yearly on average in Illinois and about $17 per hour or $37,210 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Mental health social workers earn less than people working in the category of Social Work and Community Services generally in Illinois and less than people in the Social Work and Community Services category nationally. Mental health social workers work in a variety of jobs, including: criminal justice social worker, direct care counselor, and crisis intervention specialist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Joliet where you can study to be a mental health social worker, among 132 schools of higher education total in the Joliet area. The most common level of education for mental health social workers is a Master's degree. You can expect to spend about six years studying to be a mental health social worker if you already have a high school diploma, or just 2 years starting with a Bachelor's degree.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Mental Health Social Worker

Mental Health Social Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, mental health social workers assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. They also activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, and education.

Mental health social workers talk with other professionals to review the mental or physical state of clients or patients. They also assist clients in adhering to treatment plans, such as setting up appointments, arranging for transportation to appointments, and providing support. Equally important, mental health social workers have to educate clients and community members about mental and physical illness, abuse and available community resources. They are often called upon to collaborate with counselors and nurses to develop and direct treatment, drawing on social work experience and patient needs. They are expected to monitor and record client progress with respect to treatment goals. Finally, mental health social workers refer patients or family to community resources for housing or treatment to help in recovery from mental or physical illness.

Every day, mental health social workers are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for mental health social workers to formulate and conduct programs to stop substance abuse, to fight social problems, or to further optimize health and counseling services in community. They are often called upon to supervise and direct other staff who furnish services to clients or patients. They also increase social work knowledge by reviewing current literature, conducting social research, and attending seminars, training workshops, or classes. Somewhat less frequently, mental health social workers are also expected to design or advise on social policy and help in community development.

They also have to be able to design or advise on social policy and help in community development And finally, they sometimes have to counsel clients in individual and group sessions to help them in dealing with substance abuse, mental and physical illness, poverty or physical abuse.

Like many other jobs, mental health social workers must have a strong concern for others and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Joliet include:

  • Child and Family Services Worker. Provide social services and assistance to improve the social and psychological functioning of children and their families and to maximize the family well-being and the academic functioning of children. May assist single parents, arrange adoptions, and find foster homes for abandoned or abused children. In schools, they address such problems as teenage pregnancy, misbehavior, and truancy. May also advise teachers on how to deal with problem children.
  • Medical Social Worker. Provide persons, families, or vulnerable populations with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer's, cancer, or AIDS. Services include advising family care givers, providing patient education and counseling, and making necessary referrals for other social services.
  • Probation Officer. Provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. Make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.
  • Social Services Assistant. Assist professionals from a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, or social work, to provide client services, as well as support for families. May assist clients in identifying available benefits and social and community services and help clients obtain them. May assist social workers with developing, organizing, and conducting programs to prevent and resolve problems relevant to substance abuse, human relationships, or adult daycare.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Mental Health Social Worker Training

Institute for Clinical Social Work - Chicago, IL

Institute for Clinical Social Work, 200 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 407, Chicago, IL 60601-5908. Institute for Clinical Social Work is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 92 students. Institute for Clinical Social Work has a post-master's certificate and a doctor's degree program in Clinical/Medical Social Work which graduated zero and five students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Case Manager Certification: The CCM is the first nationally accredited case manager credential.

For more information, see the Commission for Case Manager Certification website.

Clinical Social Worker in Gerontology: Social workers who hold the CSW-G have: NASW membership in good standing; An MSW degree from an institution accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); Documented no less than two (2) years (equivalent of 3,000 hours) of experience working with older adults under social work supervision; Completed twenty (20) contact hours of continuing education relevant to work with older adults; Provided approved documentation of social work supervision; Provided a reference from a social work colleague; .

For more information, see the National Association of Social Workers website.

Certified Social Worker in Health Care: Health care is a dynamic field, influenced by changes in.

For more information, see the National Association of Social Workers website.

LICENSES

SOCIAL WORKER, CLINICAL

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Address: 320 West Washington, Springfield, IL 62786

Phone: (217) 782-8556
Website: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

LOCATION INFORMATION: Joliet, Illinois

Joliet, Illinois
Joliet, Illinois photo by Joliet82

Joliet is situated in Will County, Illinois. It has a population of over 146,125, which has grown by 37.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Joliet, 100, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Joliet are priced at $172,400 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred forty-four new homes were constructed in Joliet, down from seven hundred sixty-nine the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Joliet are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, public administration, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 29 minutes. More than 18.6% of Joliet residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.7%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Joliet is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Joliet residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.9%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. All Nation Church of God in Christ, All Saints Greek Orthodox Church and Holy Cross Catholic Church are all churches located in Joliet. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Joliet is home to the Will County Courthouse and the Timber Ridge Business Park as well as Joliet East Side Historic District and Rock Run County Forest Preserve. Shopping centers in the area include Joliet Mall Shopping Center, Caton Crossing Town Square Shopping Center and Twin Oaks Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Joliet can choose from Great Escapes Travel, Hampton Inn Joliet/I-80- IL and Bel-Air Motel for temporary stays in the area.