Social workers play a hugely important role across all levels of society. They work with people of all ages, backgrounds, ethnicity and gender. As a result, before you decide to become a social worker, it is very important that you learn about the demographics of the state where you plan to work, to give you a greater understanding of the types of people you are likely to work with once you have graduated and become a social worker.
In the state of New York, the U.S. Census has reported that the population is around 19.6 million. This represents an increase since the last count, but only marginally so and population growth in New York is below the national average. The population of New York is a lot more ethnically diverse compared to the rest of the country and there is a strong minority representation. Six percent of the population is under the age of 5, which is slightly lower than than national average, and 14.4% of the population is over 65, which is slightly higher than the national average.
New York Social Work Degrees
In New York State, only those with a master’s degree can work as licensed social workers. To become licensed, they must be at least 21 years old and of good moral character. Additionally, you must meet various educational standards, as well as have certain professional experiences. Only then can you submit a licensure application and take the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)licensure examination. Schools offering social work degrees include:
- The University at Buffalo School of Social Work, which offers some of the best social work degree programs in the country for students of all types of educational backgrounds.
- The NYU Silver School of Social Work, where students can not only train to become social workers, but can also commit to their continuous education. The school has been approved as a continuous education provider for social workers.
- The Columbia School of Social Work, which offers regular master’s programs, online master’s programs and Ph.D. programs for students interested in becoming a social worker.
Social Work Employment in New York
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has provided salary information on social workers in the state. Those employed in child, family and school areas earn an average of $50,830 per year. This is $53,230 for those employed in medical and public health sectors, $48,910 for those involved in mental health and substance abuse, and $52,340 for other social workers. Additionally, those with a master’s degree tend to earn at least $15,000 per year more.
Social Work Employers in New York
Valley Behavioral Medicine
Address: Orange County, NY
Valley Behavioral Medicine offers mental health services in a private clinic. They offer services to clients from age 6 onwards. Hence, social workers are expected to work with anybody from children to geriatrics.
Address: Bronx, NY
Telephone: (718) 409-1909
At IHS Dialysis, social workers are required to work in a hospital campus. They will work with those who are in end stage renal disease phases.
Outreach Development Corporation – Building Healthy Lives
Address: Brentwood, NY
Telephone: (718) 847-9233
Outreach Development Corporation has been officially named one of the best companies to work for in the state. They offer substance abuse programs and are often looking for bilingual social workers, generally with Spanish as a second language.
New York Scholarships, Fellowships and Grants
- The NYS Licensed Social Worker Loan Forgiveness, which is a loan forgiveness program of up to $26,000 provided to those who work in multilingual communities and communities with critical care needs.
- The James F. Reville Scholarship, which is a $3,000 award in installments of $750 provided to those who intend to work with children with developmental disabilities.
- The New York City Board of Education Bilingual Scholarship Program, which is provided to those who have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and are fluent in a second language (Chinese, Spanish, Russian or Haitian Creole; other languages may be added at times).
- The Silver Leadership Fellowship, which is designed for those delivering palliative and end-of-life care, particularly in underserved areas. It is believed that there will be a huge increase in demand for specialists in this area over the next few years, as the population ages.