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5 Social Work Jobs That Aid the LGBTQ Community

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5 Social Work Jobs That Aid the LGBTQ Community

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(Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash)

Social work has a strong link with the LGBTQ community. This is because social workers know more than anyone about intersectionality, as well as the concerns about certain sections of society who are being unfairly oppressed. If you are passionate about helping those in need, and want to make a positive difference, the skills and techniques you will learn from your social work degree will prepare you for a variety of fields related to the LGBTQ community. With that in mind, here are five examples of LGBTQ jobs for social workers.

Youth Counselor

LGBTQ youth need support and assistance. There are many individuals in the LGBTQ community who cannot get it from their loved ones or community, which is why there are many LGBTQ youth centers and organizations dotted across the country. If you are interested in becoming a youth counselor, some of the duties that you will undertake on a day to day basis include:

  • Supervising and interacting with children and/or teenagers
  • Assisting them in resolving problems
  • Ensuring their emotional and physical needs are being met
  • Being on hand to provide guidance and support when necessary
  • Conducting counseling sessions in group or individual settings
  • Offering additional support to family members
  • Assisting other staff members such as therapists, psychologists, supervisors, and physicians
  • Developing an appropriate plan of success for each child
  • Monitoring each child’s progress during treatment
  • Demonstrating model behavior
  • Providing positive feedback

A master’s in social work can equip you with the management skills needed to succeed as a youth counselor. You can click here for more information about the degree and how it can be useful when it comes to applying for roles like youth counseling. If you would like to work with the LGBTQ community, you will come into contact with clients from all different kinds of backgrounds and cultures, so knowing how to communicate effectively, listen to their needs, and provide support in any way you can is important.

Advocacy Work

Social work does not just primarily focus on the individual. Macro-level advocacy is an important tool that social workers need to use to fight against oppression and poverty. For those who are passionate about helping the LGBTQ community, you can use your social work expertise to promote transgender rights, anti-discrimination laws, or fair housing ordinances. Once you’ve gained the mandatory qualifications, you will be able to work as a program leader or policy analyst. There is also the opportunity to become a director or manager at a non-profit organization, helping to lead others in the fight and justice for human rights.

Therapist

There are many members of the LGBTQ community who have unique psychological needs, which is why counselors who focus on this demographic are in such high demand. Upon completing a master’s degree in social work, and adding a concentration in counseling, you will have the qualifications needed to become an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), providing one-on-one counseling and support for LGBTQ members who suffer from anxiety, depression, as well as other mental health issues. The main duties of a therapist are to:

  • Help clients improve their lives
  • Develop better emotional and cognitive skills
  • Reduce symptoms of mental illness
  • Help clients cope with various challenges
  • Teach clients how to effectively resolve professional, emotional, and relational conflicts
  • Guide clients through crises, such as breakups, suicidal thoughts, abuse, sexual assault, and grief
  • Teach clients how to improve current relationships

According to research carried out by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the LGBTQ community experience mental health problems at 3 – 4 times the rate of the general population, meaning that your services and expertise as an LGBTQ-friendly counselor can make a positive difference.

Events Promoter

For many LGBTQ communities across the country and the world, Pride is the highlight of their year. This event is typically held in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots; however, major cities across the globe host LGBTQ events throughout the year. While an events promoter is not a typical social work job for LGBTQ issues, it’s a great way to expand your personal network, and build transferable skills, such as:

  • Improved communication
  • Working as part of a team
  • Problem solving
  • Leadership and team management
  • Time management
  • Active listening
  • Networking

Pride events need a team behind them working around the clock to ensure everything goes according to plan, so working as an events promoter for the LGBTQ community can teach you key traits that you can take with you throughout your professional endeavors.

Adoption Caseworker

A more conventional LGBTQ-related role for social workers is adoption assistance. There are many LGBTQ couples across the country who want to provide a loving and stable home for adopted children. If you’re passionate about making a difference and want to make their dreams come true, working as an adoption caseworker may be the perfect role for you. Some of the duties that you will be required to perform include:

  • Conducting consultations with prospective parents
  • Performing an adoption home study
  • Investigating the prospective parent’s health, finance, and criminal background
  • Conducting a series of interviews to establish the type of child the parents wish to adopt

As an adoption caseworker, your main responsibility will be to help prospective parents prepare their home for the child, as well as learning how to deal with the emotions that come with adding a new child into the home. There is also the option to work for a private adoption firm or a government agency; however, you will need a master’s in social work in order to qualify for this role.

As long as you have a compassionate attitude and want to do your best to help in whatever way you can, there are a wide range of social work jobs in the LGBTQ community. To flourish in any of the roles listed above, it’s important that you have the right skillset in place, so whether it’s by undergoing training, or undertaking a degree, equipping yourself with the right skills can take you far in social work.

 

 

Eboné Bell
Eboné is the Editor-in-Chief of Tagg Magazine. She is the illegitimate child of Oprah and Ellen...so it's only right that she continues their legacy in the media world.