What is Social Work?

What is Social Work?

Social work is a tertiary-qualified (Requiring a master's degree or 4 year bachelor minimum) profession recognised nationally and internationally that supports individuals, families, groups and communities to improve their wellbeing. Principles of social justice, human rights, collective responsibility and respect for diversity are central to the profession and are underpinned by theories of social work, social sciences, humanities and Indigenous knowledge.” (AASW, 2023).

General Disability Support Workers and Support coordinators cannot do what a Social Worker does (excluding level 2 and 3 Support Coordinators who are often trained Social Workers), as it requires specialist training and experience. However, when Social Work is explained, sometimes people think it is similar to Support Coordination or Support Work, this is not the case.

Social Workers use a person in environment perspective to clinically assess your needs, we then work with you, your support network and community to ensure your needs are met via not one but several means. It is for this reason that Social Workers are seen as "experts in complexity" and are often called in to support other Allied Health Professionals in their role. Under the NDIS funding system this could look like:

Explaining differences and overlap

Social Work - Psychology - Occupational Therapy

There is huge overlap between Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Social Work under the NDIS funding system. It can be difficult to know when to allocate/prioritise funds for Social Work and or when to refer to a Social Worker. Here are some of the things a Social Worker can do for you:

Social workers:

An NDIS participant should be referred to a social worker when: