Five Great Online Resources for Those Earning an MSW Degree
- Social Work Today
- Social Work Policy Institute
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
- Social Work News
The field of social work encompasses my different types of work, and since it is not possible to teach for every scenario, online resources for MSW students are useful. Plus, social work students have no experience, so every case is new to them. Having access to specific information and guidelines gives students an inside look at what methods have worked or did not work for other clients. Helping people who are at difficult moments of their lives can also take a toll on social workers and students which is another reason a solid online network of advice and support is critical. Some resources include the following.
The Social Work Today website consists of a magazine that is published every two months and includes timely articles about new developments in the field. The site is organized according to different specialties including healthcare, mental and behavioral health, substance abuse, ethics, education, and child and family services. There are also sections for guidance on starting a private practice and emerging technologies in the field. This site also offers an opportunity for students to earn continuing education (CE) credits as well as access to a job board and social work directory for professional development.
This site focuses on a big-picture view of the social work field and is a good resource for those earning an MSW degree who are interested in societal causes and solutions to problems. The think tank analyzes clinical problems like how to best serve clients with multiple complex issues and standards of care for clients in the criminal justice system. The SWPI has developed a policy platform in which the group has outlined ideas for healthcare reform as well as suggestions for foster care and adoption regulation changes. No matter the subject, the researchers explain how their findings are relevant to social workers in the field.
The amount of training specifically in mental illness and addiction issues varies between programs, so the SAMHSA site is a great resource on these topics for MSW students. According to Forbes, about 20% of Americans have a mental illness each year, and only about half of them seek treatment, so social workers will likely encounter these problems. This website is maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and offers guidelines for treatment, grant applications, and data sheets on these topics.
The Department of Health and Human Services also runs this website which is an extensive source of information for social workers involved in child protection, foster care, adoption, and abuse cases. The site provides access to articles published in a variety of other journals as well as a state-by-state reference that describes the services in different areas. One focus of this resource is to help social workers use tools to objectively measure progress.
This is a news site that provides daily updates on topics relevant to social work on a global level which gives a different perspective for students in an MSW program by allowing them to understand how other countries deal with the same systemic problems. Topics like housing, women’s issues, disability, education, and immigration are frequently covered. The articles are curated from reputable sites and are updated continuously.
Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees
Social workers have a challenging job, and a degree program does not always provide all the tools they need for their particular position. When entering the field, there is often a steep learning curve which is why online resources benefit students earning their MSW degree.