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Child Abuse in The U.S.: Why We Need Good Social Workers

Social workers create positive change and protect their community’s most vulnerable. Find out how an online social work degree can prepare you for a rewarding career.

Over 1,670 children in the U.S. lost their lives to child abuse in 2015.1 It’s a heartbreaking reality that should concern us all.

Just how prevalent is child abuse? Consider these alarming statistics:

Child Abuse in The U.S.: Why We Need Good Social Workers

  • In 2017 alone, there were nearly 675,000 victims of child abuse and neglect.1
  • Every year, more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies involving more than 6.6 million children.2
  • A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds.2
  • More than 90% of victims are abused by one or both parents.1

Child abuse is a critical problem in communities throughout the country. If you want to be part of the solution, think about a career as a social worker.

What Do Social Workers Do to Help Child Abuse Victims?

There are many types of social workers who support victims of child abuse.

For example, a child welfare social worker investigates reports of child abuse and ensures the child’s safety. Child, family, and school social workers protect the well-being of victims and work with families in crisis to prevent abuse. A clinical social worker provides mental health therapy to victims and families. And a medical social worker is involved if there’s a suspected case of abuse for a child who is brought in to the hospital.

Whether they work for a social service agency, at a school, in a medical facility, or in their own clinical social work practice, good social workers change their communities for the better and make a big impact for child abuse victims.

And we need more of them. The demand for social work professionals is expected to increase 11% by 2028—much faster than the national average for all occupations.3 This is particularly true for clinical social workers.

How to Become a Social Worker

A college education is needed for most social worker jobs. A bachelor’s degree in social work can help you enter the profession. But if you want to take your social work practice to the next level—and potentially earn a higher salary—becoming a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) could be the career path for you. And that requires a master’s degree.

To obtain licensure in most states, you will need to earn a Master of Social Work degree from a program with accreditation from the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). CSWE-accredited MSW programs are specifically designed to prepare students to pursue state licensure and begin their social work practice as an LCSW.

Where Can I Earn a Master of Social Work Degree?

Social worker degree programs are offered at many universities and colleges. As you search for good programs and compare your options, be sure to look for marks of quality such as accreditation, strong alumni outcomes, and doctoral-level faculty with practical experience in the social work field.

Walden University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program, which has CSWE accreditation, is a solid option for those who want to become an LCSW. The program’s convenient and flexible online learning format allows you to fit in online classes around your busy schedule—making it possible to pursue your master’s in social work online while fulfilling career and family commitments.

In addition to the online MSW program, Walden’s School of Social Work offers two other degree options for social workers. If you’re just starting out, the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) online degree program can help you gain the foundational skills to launch a career as a social worker.

Walden also offers a Doctor of Social Work program for advanced practitioners. One of the few doctoral degree programs of its kind offered online, Walden’s DSW program is for seasoned social work professionals who want to expand their practice and become a leader in their field.

Whether you are exploring how to become a social worker or are a long-time practitioner who wants to grow your influence, advancing your college education with a degree in social work can prepare you to change lives and tackle the important issue of child abuse across the U.S.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering Master of Social Work (MSW), Bachelor of Social Work (BSW), and Doctor of Social Work degree programs online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

1Source: www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/cm2017.pdf
2Source: www.childhelp.org/child-abuse-statistics
3Source: www.bls.gov/ooh/Community-and-Social-Service/Social-workers.htm

Walden University’s Master of Social Work (MSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is responsible for developing standards that define competent preparation for professional social workers and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards.

Note on licensure: The minimum academic credential required to obtain licensure to practice as a social worker in most states is a Master of Social Work (MSW) from a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). Walden University’s MSW program is accredited by CSWE.

State licensing boards are responsible for regulating the practice of social work, and each state has its own academic, licensure, and certification requirements.

Walden recommends that students consult the appropriate social work licensing board in the state in which they plan to practice to determine the specific academic requirements for licensure. Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide information relating to the state-by-state requirements for licensure. However, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all licensing requirements for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to achieve state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential as a social worker.

Walden University’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), a specialized accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CSWE’s Commission on Accreditation is responsible for developing standards that define competent preparation for professional social workers and ensuring that social work programs meet these standards.

Note on licensure: Walden University’s Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program meets the academic requirements to obtain the required credential to practice as a bachelor’s-level social worker in many states.

State licensing boards are responsible for regulating the practice of social work, and each state has its own academic, licensure, and certification requirements for practice as a social worker at the bachelor’s degree level. Walden recommends that students consult the appropriate social work licensing board in the state in which they plan to practice to determine the specific academic requirements for licensure or other credentials. Walden Enrollment Specialists can provide information relating to the state-by-state requirements for licensure. However, it remains the individual’s responsibility to understand, evaluate, and comply with all licensing requirements for the state in which he or she intends to practice. Walden makes no representations or guarantee that completion of its coursework or programs will permit an individual to achieve state licensure, authorization, endorsement, or other state credential as a social worker.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.

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