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California Social Work MSW Requirements

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Earn a Master of Social Work degree online from the top-ranked USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. This CSWE-accredited program features live, online classes and hands-on field experiences near your community. GRE scores are not required to apply, and you can complete your degree in two years or less. Bachelor's degree required. Learn more and request information!


California Social Work Certification & Licensing + Jobs & Salary

Social work is a hugely important area of work. Social workers are there to ensure that all people, regardless of their age, background, ethnicity, gender or any other element, have the same opportunities in life. They often work with children, making sure they are protected from harm, but also with older people who often suffer from loneliness and social isolation. Social workers may also offer support to drug addicts, cancer patients and anybody else who has any kind of problem that affects their social lives.

If you want to become a social worker in California, it is very important that you learn to understand the demographics of where you intend to work, since this will greatly influence the type of work that you will be doing yourself. The state of California has some very particular demographics. It is the most populous state in the country and, although population growth has slowed down, it is still growing. Around 12% of the entire population of our country lives in California. Additionally, as with most other states, California has an aging population with specific social work needs.

Becoming a Social Worker in California

There are numerous pathways to becoming a social worker in California. However, only those who hold a master's degree from a school that is accredited by the Council onf Social Work Education (CSWE) can call themselves social workers. Nevertheless, you will be able to perform many social work duties after completing a bachelor's degree. Listed below are schools offering social work degree programs.

• California State University - Fresno, where students can take part in a bachelor's or master's degree in social work, which includes various internships.
• San Diego State University, which offers both a bachelor's and master's degree in social work.
• San Francisco State University, where the programs offered are a bachelor's and master's degree in social work and gerontology.

Social workers in the state have to become licensed through the California Licensing Board. By January 1, 2016, the current exams to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), which require a master's degree to take, will be replaced with two different exams. These will be the California Law and Ethics Exam as well as the ASWB (Association of Social Work Board) Clinical Level Exam. Only when you have passed both exams will you be able to become a social worker in the state.

Social Work Employers in California

The employment opportunities for social workers in the state of California are very good, with an expected growth of 19%, which is above the national average. At the last count, some 607,300 social workers were employed in California. Their employers are varied and include places such as:

Avant-Garde FFA
Address: Corona, CA
Telephone: 951-735-5300

Avant-Garde provides family fostering services where social workers are needed to assist with every element of the fostering process.

My Sober Coach Los Angeles
Address: Los Angeles, CA
Telephone: 888.512.1092

My Sober Coach is an organization that supports addicts and alcoholics. They require social workers to support those who have a dual diagnosis of both mental illness and addiction.

Community Regional Medical Center
Address: Fresno, CA
Telephone: 559-459-6000

Community Regional Medical Center is a regional health care center in Fresno that offers a range of different services. They are frequently on the lookout for social workers to deliver acute care as and when clients become available.

California Social Work Scholarships, Grants and Fellowships

Scholarships from:

• Jewish Jobs and Careers of North America Graduate Scholarship Program, which is provided to those who have the potential to become Jewish Community Centers members.
• Bethesda Lutheran Communities Scholarship for College Students, which is made available to Lutheran students who are involved in an undergraduate degree that will allow them to help people with developmental disabilities.
• NYSARC James F. Reville Scholarship, which is available to students who are taking part in a degree that prepares them to help those with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Students cannot be employed by NYSARC, Inc. if they want to apply for the scholarship.

Fellowships and Grants from:

• University Health Services Tang Center at Berkeley - They offer various post-MSW fellowships in Counseling & Psychological Services and Social Services.
• University of Southern California - They offer various scholarships and fellowships to students who are able to demonstrate their merit through campus and community involvement and financial need.

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