Social workers help communities, families and individuals in many different ways. Find out here how to contact a social worker when you need support. It's also important to know what to expect when seeing a social worker.
This can help if:
- you’re wondering what social workers do
- you’re thinking about seeing a social worker
- you want to know how to find a social worker.
What is a social worker?
Social workers help individuals, families and communities deal with challenges to their social, physical and mental wellbeing. Social workers are sometimes referred to as 'case managers', 'allied health clinicians' or 'counsellors'.
Social workers can be found in hospitals, community health centres, government departments, the court system and private practices. They provide professional support for issues such as family welfare, employment, mental health, violence, disabilities and drug abuse.
The main difference between social workers and psychologists is that psychologists usually help people with their personal mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety and/or mental illness. Social workers, on the other hand, are more likely to focus on helping someone change their environment or personal circumstances, in order to improve their situation. This might include organising safe accommodation, assisting intake into a drug rehabilitation centre or linking clients to financial help.
How do I find a social worker?
- The Australian Association of Social Workers’ Find a Social Worker directory can help you find a social worker in your area.
- Call the Department of Human Services on 132 850 and ask to speak to a social worker.
- Ask your school counsellor, a trusted teacher or your GP to help you get in contact with a social worker.