Hey! I assume you came from this post to address the asterisk found there. Well, I will address the awkward conversation a social worker or future social worker may have (or has had) when you have to professionally burst a non-social workers bubble.
One must understand that social workers are professionals of an applied science. Did you see how I emphasized professionals? Great, you are paying attention. According to the National Association of Social Workers, social workers are…
“Graduates of schools of social work (in the U.S.A. with either bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees) who use their knowledge and skills to provide social services for clients (who may be individuals, families, groups, communities, organizations, or society in general). Social workers help people increase their capacities for problem solving and coping, and they help them obtain needed resources, facilitate interactions between individuals and between people and their environments, make organizations responsible to people, and influence social policies. Social workers may work directly with clients addressing individual, family and community issues, or they may work at a systems level on regulations and policy development, or as administrators and planners of large social service systems (Barker, 2003).”
The asterisk was placed by the area of child welfare because this is where the lines of social workers and case managers/workers become misunderstood by individuals who are not social workers. There are thousands of social workers who work in the child welfare field, but not everyone who has the title of a case manager is a social worker. This title protection is essential to the field of social work because often times the profession is under attack when incidents occur with persons who are assumed to be a social worker, but are not.
Please Note: There are always a few bad apples in every profession. NASW takes action against social workers who violate the NASW Code of Ethics and/or the law.