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Professional social workers aim to build and maintain social conditions that help individuals, groups, and communities to function and succeed.  The practice requires firsthand knowledge of human behavior, insight into social, economic, and cultural issues, and the ability to create a web of security that benefits those in need.

Here are six fast facts about the social work profession:

Social workers are highly trained professionals.  A bachelor's or masters, social work degree-with a minimum  number of hours in supervised fieldwork-is needed to become a professional social worker from an accredited school from the Council on Social Work Education.  In the state of Indiana, there are 5849 licensed social workers.

Professional social workers are the nation's largest providers of mental health services.  According to government sources, social workers deliver 70 percent of mental health services.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics shows social work is one of the nation's fastest growing careers.  The need for social work services is expected to increase by 30 percent by 2010.  In the United States, nearly 600,000 people hold degrees in social work in the United States.

Nationally, more than 170 social workers have been elected to public office nationwide.

More than 40 percent of mental health volunteers trained by the Red Cross for mental health support are social workers.

You'll find social workers in every facet of community life-they often specialize in one or more of the following areas.

Mental Health

Military Social Work

Adoption and Foster Care

Family Preservation Services

Eating Disorders

Employment Services

Senile Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Community Mental Health

Private Practice

Prenatal Services

Disaster Relief

Child Abuse and Neglect

Political Development

Public Welfare

Medical/Health Care Services

Family Planning

Community Based Services

Addiction Prevention

Outpatient Treatment

Rural Social Work

Child Welfare Services

Homeless Family Assistance

Genetics

Depression

Chronic Pain

Community Development

Advocacy, Consulting and Planning

Social Policy

Health/Hospital Social Work

Education

Veterans Services

Domestic Violence

Parent Education

Criminal Justice

HIV/AIDS

Developmental Disabilities

Employee Assistance

Housing Assistance

Public Office

Immigration