You don’t need an excuse to help those who are disadvantaged, but in order to make a difference you do have to determine a focused starting point.
Some members of the social work community firmly believe that it is the youth who need the most care, while others believe members of the active workforce need help and support to keep society moving along. There’s no right or wrong answer and there is most certainly more than enough space for social workers to champion the causes that stir their hearts. For social workers who have been around for a while as well as recent masters in social work online graduates, it can be hard to focus on a single mission when there is so much work in other areas to be done. The only way that progress is going to be made is if you have a cause that is so important to you that you aren’t able to find anything else that is more worthwhile.
Local Community Need
State funded programs get funding from both the local and federal government to meet local community needs, but the amount isn’t always sufficient. For instance, a family supported by a parent who has lost his or her unskilled labor job might be able to qualify for food stamps, but the amount allocated may not realistically be enough to feed them all. You may find that you want to champion immigrants who have overcome unspeakable acts and just want to go on to live a simple life. Within your own local community, you will find how you can best meet the biggest and most necessary basic needs.
Underserved Populations and Available Services
An underserved population can consist of people who can benefit from social workers, but don’t know where to go to seek help. There may also be those who struggle each month just to keep the electricity on, but they are much too proud to seek what they consider to be handouts or charity. There are also people that social workers with online MSW degrees have trouble working with because of language barriers and cultural differences. Working with the underserved can literally reshape an entire community within a short period, and there may not be a lot of actual work involved.
Grants, Volunteers and Public Awareness
When there is lots of good work being done all around, sometimes a worthy cause is just to source the funding needed to keep the momentum going. Simple things like youth services require transportation, and gas, and money to pay drivers and instructors. Many federally funded agencies will help good causes to keep going if they are certain that their money is going to be properly spent. You might find that your cause is to seek out grants and funding for other social workers who are out in the trenches, helping local community members in need to get ahead.
Once you pinpoint the special cause that shifts how you think, as well as how you view the world, you know that you just have to keep at it. While the work may never truly be completed, you can help to transform societal blights into very small scale issues. Look inside yourself to find out what moves your heart and you won’t need any other outside motivator.