Understanding the big picture is imperative for those working in social work administration. Social workers in administration roles work at the macro level, with a focus on the future. Administrators are decision makers, concerned about the well-being of a total system versus one particular client. Working at the macro level may not include as much face-to-face interaction with clients but it is every bit as critical as providing direct services.
Social work administration requires knowledge about social policy and the delivery of social services. Administrators must have an understanding of human behavior, a commitment to social work ethics and values, and a vision for the future.
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Become a Social Work Administrator
Given the varied responsibilities of a social work administrator, the job requires a broad understanding of many different areas.
Some essential skills that social work administrators must possess include:
- Developing budgets
- Understanding the needs of various populations
- The development of programs
- Evaluating the efficacy of existing programs
- Identifying areas where more support is needed
- Developing social work policies and regulations
- Managing community outreach initiatives
- Fine-tuning the delivery of programs
Social work administrators must also have an understanding of social services, human behavior and social problems, as this role is still rooted in its commitment to being consumer-oriented and servicing disenfranchised populations. It’s vital for prospective administrators to have a sophisticated understanding of business and leadership skills.
What do social work administrators do?
Today’s agencies and human services organizations are more complex to run than traditional businesses. A social work administrator steers the direction of an organization, working on budgets, designing programs to fulfill the needs of the population, evaluating the efficacy of existing programs, identifying areas that lack support, managing overarching strategy for the community or department, and working on policies.
Social work administration is a rewarding field that allows social workers to make a difference in the communities they serve.
Social Work Administration Jobs
Those with a background in social work administration possess a unique skill set that enables them to access a diverse range of positions. Some jobs particularly suited to those specializing in social work administration include leadership or directive roles in:
- Family service agencies
- Child welfare departments
- Social service agencies
- School personnel departments
- Area agencies on aging
- State mental health departments
- Employee assistance programs
- Probation departments
- Hospitals and home health care agencies
- Public welfare agencies
How Much Do Social Work Administrators Earn?
Social work administrators may be categorized into social and community service managers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that social and community service managers earn an average of $65,320 a year and is projected to grow by 13%.
The salary a social work administrator or manager earns takes into consideration education, certifications, skills, experience in the profession, and their geographical location.