What is a Family Counseling Concentration for an MSW?

The master’s of social work, or MSW, enables students to work in a wide range of social work applications today. As a result of such applicability, this type of discipline and profession also entails numerous areas of individual specialization. What do the family counseling concentration and other, similar concentrations look like here? Follow along for the scoop on this specialization as well as several, other, similar concentrations in social work today.

The MSW: A Wide Area of Focus

As touched on above, social work is comprised of an often complex mix of psychology, sociology, politics, geography, economics, culture, and other factors. This makes social work a wide area of practice which utilizes many specializations within. Some grads decide to specialize in substance abuse studies while others focus more on specializations such as adoption and foster systems, community development, administration, or even family sciences or family counseling.

In family sciences such as family counseling, the inner-workings of today’s family unit are studied, and this MSW grad is then ultimately qualified for a wide range of family-related social work. As the family unit itself can be quite complex, there are numerous family-based specialties one can choose from in most MSW programs. Here is a quick rundown of some of those family-based specializations, including the family counseling concentration itself.

The Child and Family Welfare Concentration

With the social work concentration focused on child and family welfare, the student can expect to become expertly versed in the various elements that improve or detract from the potential for welfare in the family and/or the individual child therein. “Welfare” here is a broad term encompassing components such as criminality, financial status, home safety, adequate medical care, food availability, and more. Child protective workers represent one of many vocations that are particularly well served by this concentration of the MSW.

The Family Counseling Concentration

The MSW concentration that is geared toward family counseling offers a valuable opportunity for the student to become deeply learned in all, general family counseling protocol and method. Which counseling techniques work best, and in which conditions should each of these be applied? What kinds of family situations may one encounter and provide counsel with in their role as a professional social worker? What specific forms of help can family counseling and the social worker therein actually provide a family in need? These are the areas of knowledge that this particular concentration will arm the MSW grad with.

The Extended and Complex Family Concentration

Yet another family-based concentration in the MSW is that based on extended and complex families. Foster families, adoptions, blended families of different races and other backgrounds: these are the special family areas honed in on by this concentration. Grads who are proficient here can truly go on to fill some important roles in the social work realm that others simply cannot.

Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees

Today’s MSW encompasses a wide range of specialty disciplines. Among these, those based around family counseling and similar specialties provide a unique value to the grad in their future social work endeavors. In conclusion, for those seeking further information on social work or related family counseling information, the National Association of Social Worker’s online “Research & Data” section as well as the American Counseling Association are highly recommended resources with which to inquire further.