Social workers are highly trained professionals whose skills are applicable in a variety of settings. Some social workers may feel the drive to apply their knowledge and experience in an international position where social work professionals and qualifications may be lacking. Below you’ll find the different types of International social work jobs.
While the valuable skills of social workers are transferrable across borders, the prospective job landscape in the international realm differs from the domestic and varies regionally.
However, there are a number of international social work jobs and global social work roles to which qualified social workers could positively contribute their experience.
List of International Social Work Jobs:
International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s)
In the international realm, NGO’s fulfill a wide variety of community and individual needs, tackling a number of structural issues that local governments fail to address, working to develop locally-led initiatives for community change, and seeking to solve environmental, health, and injustice issues impacting local communities.
Social workers are equipped to contribute greatly to the work of NGO’s, applying their skills to crucial responsibilities such as program monitoring and evaluation, community assessments, grant-writing and fundraising, and project administration.
Refugee Camps and Migrant Shelters
Social workers often seek to provide services to the most vulnerable populations, and refugees and migrants are some of those. These populations are in transition and often in need of assistance in meeting basic needs, as well as higher level needs such as trauma work.
Refugee camps and migrant shelters suffer from a lack of resources, and social workers can be of great assistance in these locations to provide or implement case management services, needs assessments, safety policies, and other forms of biopsychosocial care in many different countries.
International adoptions are of growing interest, and social workers play crucial roles in the adoption process. Especially in international adoptions, social workers are needed to protect the welfare of children throughout the process, as well as work with parents to ensure they are prepared for the responsibilities of adopting a child.
Research and Advocacy
Many international issues, such as poverty, human rights, women’s rights, migration, cannot ever hope to be resolved without taking an international purview and approach. The skills of social workers are to research and analyze these issue and the policies seeking to address them.
Additionally, social workers working in researching such international areas can be active advocates for policy change, peace, conflict resolution, and human rights. Social workers may serve as research analysts in any country and could serve internationally as international accompaniers, victim advocates, forensic social workers, and more.
Other Direct Service Positions
Social workers can hold more traditional positions in the field of social work in any country, provided they have the language skills to do so. Social workers could also fulfill important direct service and clinical positions that may differ slightly from such positions domestically.
Rather than psychotherapy, social workers in international settings might be more likely to work in group work, counseling, or community-based program implementation.
There are a number of roles for social workers to fulfill in the international sector, and those interested in applying their skills abroad should consider their options carefully in making such a career choice.
While the types of positions available differ in some ways from domestic careers in social work, international social work can be a very fulfilling career choice that provides social workers a new range of experience and cultural competence.