Social work is a practice-based profession that promotes social change, development, cohesion and the empowerment of people and communities. Social work practice involves the understanding of human development, behavior and the social, economic and cultural institutions and interactions. Social work is a professional discipline which is being offered in many higher institutions across Nigeria.
What They Do: Social workers help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives.
Work Environment: Social workers work in a variety of settings, including mental health clinics, schools, child welfare and human service agencies, hospitals, settlement houses, community development corporations, and private practices. They generally work full time and may need to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
How to Become a Social worker
Although some social workers only need a Diploma or bachelor’s degree in social work, clinical social workers must have a master’s degree and 2 years of post-master’s experience in a supervised clinical setting. Clinical social workers must also be licensed in many countries before they can practice but in Nigeria that has not been the case.
Often, when we think of social workers, we think of givers. Social workers strive tirelessly to help others, and you might be wondering what they get out of all this effort for themselves. As it turns out, there are a lot of great reasons to go into this field, and as many social workers will tell you, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Here are just some of the benefits of pursuing an exciting and fulfilling career in social work.
Benefits of Becoming a Social worker
It’s a Growing Field
The field of social work is expanding rapidly. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that demand for social workers will increase by 16 percent by 2026, which is faster than for other occupations. That translates to about 110,000 new jobs in the next decade. And with a wide range of job options, it’s likely that you’ll be able to find meaningful work in this field.
You Have a Variety of Opportunities
While you may assume that social workers only work in social services agencies run by the government, that is not the case. There is a wide range of opportunities and workplaces for social workers. You can find jobs in schools, hospitals, health centers, nonprofit and advocacy agencies, churches and even businesses, such as insurance companies and law firms. And the types of positions vary as well: You could be involved in direct client care, serve in a supervisory role, or focus on policy development, advocacy, grant writing or other aspects of the field. In short, there is no single definition of social work, and you can find a role that interests you and fits your skills and talents.
There is Room to Grow
Once you get your foot in the door of the social work field, you have a great deal of potential for growth, especially if you continue your education and earn an MSW degree. The more education you have, the more positions you will qualify for, including supervisory roles. Depending on their credentials, some social workers may also end up going into private practice.
You Can Make a Difference
You can’t have a discussion about the benefits of a career in social work without addressing the fact that working in the field allows you to make a difference in the lives of individuals and provide a tangible benefit to society. Many people want to make the world a better place, but aren’t sure where to start or what to do. As a social worker, you are in a position to solve specific problems and help others, and there is a good chance that you will end up being the person that changes someone else’s life. While it is a lot of hard work and change doesn’t always happen quickly, just knowing that your work is meaningful to others can help provide you with a purpose and personal fulfillment.
You Can Apply Your Core Values to Your Work
Many social workers enter the profession because its core principles align with their own values and priorities. In fact, many social workers were inspired by their own experiences, which spurred a desire to help others and advocate for the support and services that they themselves didn’t have. Yet even if you don’t have your own challenges to draw upon, working as a social worker allows you to live out the values of equality, justice, fairness, respect, dignity and the right of everyone to health and well-being. If these values align with yours, then consider becoming a social worker.
Schools offering social work in Nigeria
List of educational institutions that offer Social Work in Nigeria include;
- Ebonyi State University-Abakaliki
- Lagos State University, Lagos
- Nnamdi Azikwe University, Awka, Anambra State
- University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State
- University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State
- University of Benin, Benin-City, Edo State
- University of Jos, Jos, Plateau State
- University of Lagos, Lagos State
- University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State
- University of Maiduguri, Maiduguri, Borno State
- Bayero University Kano, Kano State
- Delta State University, Abraka
- University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom
- Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu
- University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State
- Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti
- Kogi State University, Ayangba
- Nassarawa State University, Lafia
- Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Edo State
- Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State
- Babcock University, Ilisha Remo, Ogun State
- Federal University, Lafia.
Polytechnics and Allied Institutions
- Jigawa State Polytechnic, Dutse
- Kano State Polytechnic, Kano
- Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna State
- Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin
- Sokoto State Polytechnic, Sokoto
- Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, Borno State
- Plateau State Polytechnic, Jos
- Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State
- Federal Polytechnic, Offa
- Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, Adamawa State
- Federal School of Social Work, Emene. Enugu State
- Shehu Idris College of Health Science and Technology, Makargi, Kaduna State
- College of Administrative and Business Studies, Potiskum, Yobe State
- Social Development Institute, Ningi, Bauchi State
- Social Development Institute, Kumo, Gombe State
- Social Development Institute, Katsina, Katsina State
- Adamawa State Polytechnic, Numan
- Waziri Umaru Federal Polytechnic, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State
- Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu, Yobe State
- Niger State Polytechnic, Zungeru, Bida Campus
- Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic, Katsina State.
Social Worker Salaries in Nigeria
Overall employment of social workers is projected to grow 11 percent over the next ten years, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increased demand for healthcare and social services, but will vary by specialization. The salary of a social worker in Nigeria depends on several factors such as his/ her employer (NGO, State, Federal, LGA, or International development organization), education, level of experience and location. In general, the average net salary for Social Worker in Nigeria is ₦108,000.