Advocacy in Action

Through the stories we share, the Admissions Team at Baylor University hopes to inspire and educate future leaders in social work.

How to Tell If You'd Be a Good Social Worker

Written by Baylor School of Social Work Team on 10.29.22

What Makes a Good Social Worker?

Knowing whether or not you would thrive as a social worker means learning what it takes to make real and positive change. As a social worker, you’ll work with people from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences — many of whom come from vulnerable and/or underserved communities.

The qualities of what makes an individual an excellent social worker are myriad, but some, like empathy, compassion, and patience, are essential. To get a sense of whether or not you could be a good fit for social work, try asking yourself some introspective questions, like the ones below.

Can you easily understand another person’s emotions or point of view?

The ability to imagine how a situation might feel from another person’s point of view is an example of empathy. Empathetic people are able to understand and share the feelings and perspectives of others. 

As a social worker, empathy and compassion will allow you to better understand the people you work with, as they combat challenges and seize opportunities to live better lives.

Do people often come to you when they need someone to talk to?

A good deal of social work is listening to people's problems and trying to help them find solutions. 

If you have good listening skills and can show people you care through active listening, you’ll be able to make meaningful changes in your clients' lives before you even begin formally advocating for them.

Can you stay organized, even when things around you are chaotic?

As a social worker, you’ll have to juggle multiple cases simultaneously, so good organizational skills are essential. 

If you find it easy to compartmentalize aspects of your life now and can easily separate the details between your different responsibilities, you’d most likely be an organized social worker. While cases can be complex and complicated, having the right system to keep everything straight can help.

Are you committed to driving change?

The path toward equality and social justice can feel slow-moving. Effective social workers must continue to advocate for their clients until their needs are met. Even if the process takes longer than you expect, showing your client you are still fighting for them will go a long way.

Do you have a heart for social justice?

Social workers are deeply entrenched in the issues of equity, equality and social and racial justice facing underrepresented and marginalized groups. 

A passion and desire to challenge power inequalities, center the lives of marginalized people, and work for the liberation of the oppressed drives allows social workers to deliver the highest quality of care.

Are you willing to pursue the necessary education?

To join the social work profession, you’ll need at least a bachelor of social work (BSW) degree. Many people also choose to pursue a master of social work (MSW) degree as a way to specialize or expand their knowledge. 

If you already have a bachelor's degree in something other than social work, you can still pursue an MSW. In fact, it's a great avenue for people who want to make a meaningful career change.

Earn Your Social Work Degree at Baylor

At Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social work, we’re committed to using an anti-oppressive framework that’s rooted in intersectionality. As a student in our BSW or MSW programs, you’ll receive a well-rounded education that prepares you to build on the strengths of persons, families and communities by emphasizing social justice and the intersection of faith and practice. 

Ready to start changing your world for the better? Learn more about the characteristics of a good social worker, or request more information about our programs

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Posted by Baylor School of Social Work Team

We are the admissions team at the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, at Baylor University. We believe social work is about service and justice; it is about the dignity of individuals and the power of relationships; it is about integrity and competence, and our mission here is preparing social workers to do these things well. We hope you find our resources helpful and informative as you explore and pursue a degree in social work!




If you're interested in learning more about the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work and the programs we have to offer, we invite you to reach out to our team! 

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