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Social Worker Officer occupation

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Neill McKay

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I'd be surprised if there were any social workers in the reserve force.  I think he'd have to join the regular force.
 

medicineman

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rennick said:
As a family, is there anything, other than considering coping with regular absences and relocation, we should take into consideration?

You'd have to take into consideration that you might have to move once he gets in, and not necessarily where you'd like to go to.

Having said that, there is a call for SW Officers, especially if they have a counselling background.

Hope all goes well.

MM
 

CombatDoc

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rennick said:
How in-demand is the Social Work field in the military? Would you suggest starting with reserves and going from there, or (considering how long the app process seems to potentially take) instead starting right in with a reg. force application.
AFAIK, Social Work Officer is a Reg Force only trade and does not exist in the Res Force.  Most CF bases employ a mixture of military and civilian social workers, so another option would be to seek employment as a civilian SW  on a military base.  I recommend that your husband discuss his intentions in joining the CF with your local recruiting centre.  Your local reserve unit, even if it is a Res Field Amb, would not be able to fully employ a SWO with a MSW. 
 

rennick

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Thanks!

We're not surprised to hear about the Res not having SW Officers. We knew about the civ SW option (he was looking briefly at that right after graduation). He does have alot of counselling and assessment experience. He's decided to take a day off next week to talk to the Recruiter sooner rather than later.

Re moving, that part we anticipate (we don't currently live near any bases, and assume that eventually, if not immediately upon receiving an offer, we'd be relocating). I'm currently un-employed, and we homeschool the kids, and they're old enough to understand what's going on (but young enough to think being in the army is "cool" ;) )
 

Jarhog

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Hello everyone,
I am currently completing my Masters degree in social work and I have been considering enlisting in the Canadian forces as a Social Work Officer.

I have attempted to do some Google searches before talking to a recruiter to find out a little information on what kind of work I would be doing. So what kind of work do Social work officers usually attend to?

I also have some questions on posting length and area. Would I have any choice of my posting and are you automatically moved after 3-5 years as it usually states?

Also would type of service (Army, Navy, Air force) have any effect on where the posting would be?
Thanks For your help
 

PMedMoe

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Sort of a "generic" description from CFAO 56-15:

The Canadian Forces employ social work officers (SWOs) whose
qualifications are recognized by the Canadian Association of Social
Workers, and who subscribe to the code of ethics of that Association. SWOs
provide a network through which all personnel and units can receive
assistance.
3.    SWOs are qualified to treat CF members who have psycho-social
problems. As dependants exert a significant influence on a member's
military effectiveness and are often intimately involved in the member's
problem, they are entitled to have access to social work services. The
military family is therefore an important area in which the SWO may be
asked to provide assistance.
4.    The availability of a specialized social work service does not lessen
an officer's or NCM's overall responsibility for the general welfare of
subordinates.  If a problem persists after an officer or NCM has attempted
to resolve it the SWO should be viewed as a resource person whom the
officer or NCM may then consult, work in conjunction with, and/or refer
subordinates to.

and

SCOPE OF SOCIAL WORK SERVICES
9.    SWOs are professionally qualified to assess, diagnose, treat,
undertake consultation and make recommendations concerning a variety of
psychosocial problems. These include:
    a.  compassionate problems such as those involving an illness or
          handicap of a member, dependant, or other close relative;

    b.  marital discord, separation or divorce;

    c.  individual and family problems resulting from a wide variety of
          factors such as: misuse of alcohol and other drugs, unwanted
          pregnancies, child behaviour, family violence, and financial
          mismanagement;

    d.  problems arising from the stress of military life on members and
          their families; and

    e.  problems requiring the use of civilian social welfare resources
          such as: services for physically handicapped or mentally retarded
          children, mental health services, marriage counselling services,
          adoption, and child welfare services as well as visiting
          homemaker services.

No, you may request a certain posting, however, the CF will send you where they need you.  Posting lengths vary.

Element choice does not matter with regards to postings.


 

Jarhog

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Thanks for the great information.

I am very interested in possible service and I am currently obtaining as much information.

Would you be able to tell me how many Social Workers are currently serving and are they generally looking for people?
 

PMedMoe

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No idea how many are serving.  My guess is that yes, they are looking for people.  With recruitment in many trades presently "on hold", your best bet is to contact a CFRC.
 

pontcanna

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A recently BSW'd friend attended a CF social work "recruitment night" (don't know what it was actually called) in Victoria, with a meal provided as an incentive :)

She found the presentation intriguing, knows a bit about the military (her boyfriend is an officer) but as a single Mom found the training and transferring a bit much for her. At least for now. The subsidised MSW was also an attractive feature. But of course schools of social work have a less than enlightened attitude about people in uniform. Supporting the patriarchal war-machine, etc.

I've always had an approach/avoidance conflict regarding the military and seriously considered a SWO application back in the 80's. Met with the SW'er at the former CFB Chilliwack. But in the end I stayed in Federal Corrections, which I've enjoyed even though I think it sucked the social worker right out of me.
 

pontcanna

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Forgot to mention that reg force members I spoke to back in the day considered the Social Work speciality something of an unholy cross between the Chaplain and the MP - in other words, people to be avoided if at all possible.
 

the 48th regulator

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pontcanna said:
Forgot to mention that reg force members I spoke to back in the day considered the Social Work speciality something of an unholy cross between the Chaplain and the MP - in other words, people to be avoided if at all possible.


That is no longer the case, however efforts are still being made to de-stigmatize mental health in the CF.

dileas

tess

 

Delaney1986

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Hello Everyone,

  Wow, this has been a long time coming. To say a little about myself; I graduated from University with a degree in Military History in 2009. My husband is armoured, and I have been wanting to join for a few years now and finally think things may be moving forward in April. I just have some questions that I feel like the people on this site will answer bluntly and honestly. Any advice would be great, thanks in advance.

    Originally I was applying for Intelligence but the recruiter I spoke to asked me if I could speak any African languages and then went on to explain that he had a Master's degree and could speak multiple languages and HE couldn't get in so I was barking up the wrong tree. While I was working for a short time on base I knew two Infantry Officers who gave up their commission to become Int Ops. I realize that the Infantry is grossly overmanned right now and they can essentially get any trade they want if they OT but is Intelligence really as untouchable as the recruiter made it sound (officer or ncm)? I understand the military's reluctance to take someone off the street but what about OTing once you get in? I spoke with a PSO about the possibility of a Special Transfer that sometimes holds positions in Intelligence and since I have the right degree I might qualify for it. Does anyone know about this Special Transfer? I know it may seem like I am jumping the gun a bit since I am in the application stage right now with the CF but I want to know what my options are once/if I get in so I can choose a trade I think I would be happy in if the Intelligence dream never materializes. Once I sign the dotted line I plan on making this my career, not a stepping stone to gain "life experience" to go do something else.

  My second choice right now is Ammo Tech. It sounds like you would get to learn some pretty interesting skills and still get some hands on work done. I was wondering if there were any Ammo Techs on this site who would be willing to talk to me about what the day-to-day job is really like?  Also, what types of courses are available once you get in?

  And finally, I have been hearing that the military is really short on Social Workers at the moment. But, they aren't willing to pay for you to get your bachelor of Social Work. Does anyone know why? Or if this might ever change in the future?

And please let me know if this information is somewhere else in the forums, I haven't been able to find specific answers to these questions.

Cheers!!
 

Blackadder1916

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Delaney1986 said:
  And finally, I have been hearing that the military is really short on Social Workers at the moment. But, they aren't willing to pay for you to get your bachelor of Social Work. Does anyone know why? Or if this might ever change in the future?

It is very clearly stated that  the requirement for enrolment as a Social Work Officer is:
Formal Qualifications

To be eligible for selection as a Social Work Officer, you need to possess a Bachelor's of Social Work (BSW) or a Master's of Social Work (MSW) degree. If you only have a BSW, the CF does subsidize the MSW for selected candidates and therefore, you will need proof that you are accepted without any condition in a MSW program, in an accredited social work school at a Canadian university (the accreditation is from the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work). A concentration in clinical practice is required. You also need to be registered with the professional social work association of a Canadian province or territory.

And this CMP Instruction, Subsidized Education for Entry-Level Masters in Physiotherapy, Masters in Social Work, Masters of Divinity - Regular Force outlines the program under which subsidized education is provided to individuals who wish to enrol as Social Work Officers.

This CMP Instruction is being put in place because...

The Canadian Forces (CF) has a need for Physiotherapists, Social Workers and Chaplains. For Physiotherapists, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association is changing the entry-level requirements from a Bachelor of Science to a Professional Entry-Level Masters program thus eliminating the ability to recruit Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) candidates for Bachelors degrees. The CF currently does not subsidize an Entry-Level Masters Program in physiotherapy. For Social Workers, the required degree for CF employment as a social worker is a Masters of Social Work (MSW) however it is difficult to recruit social workers with a MSW. For Chaplains, it is difficult with the small number of qualified clergy to recruit a sufficient number of chaplains to meet CF demands. Hence the CF must create a way to meet the need.

As an interim policy, the CF will subsidize Physiotherapists in the Entry- Level Masters program, Social Workers in the MSW program and Chaplains in the Masters of Divinity (MDiv) or equivalent program and for the time required to obtain the prerequisite pastoral experience under the authority of this instruction. Subsidized education for these masters programs will be governed by a new DAOD, Specialist Officer Training Plan (SOTP), upon its publication.

And that should explain the reason why the CF does not subsidize a Bachelor of Social Work degree - they can't employ a person with that educational level.
 

Delaney1986

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Blackadder1916,

  That information was really helpful, thanks. I already knew the entrance requirements for Social Workers in the CF, but was just curious why you had to have a Masters and why the CF wouldn't subsidize where Social Work degrees can be acquired in less time than a regular bachelor. No one had been able to really answer my question and just kept telling me that they don't pay for it and that's all I need to know.

I appreciate you taking the time to answer, thanks again!
 

JMesh

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If you were set on social work, you might consider going into an officer occupation which does not require specific degrees (e.g. combat arms, pilot, MARS, etc.) to get your BSW through ROTP and once you have completed your first round of obligatory service, you might be able to get your MSW, remuster and work in Social Work.

A word of warning with this route: re-musters are never guaranteed and you may not be offered the chance to do more subsidized education. It is something to consider; just be aware of the risks.
 

Delaney1986

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JMesh,

  Thanks for the feedback. It isn't so much that I am set on Social Work, it just seems like it would be so interesting in the CF with it's specific issues. Unfortunately I went to University without any idea of what I wanted to be and just took courses that I was interested in. Don't get me wrong, Military History was amazing, but hardly marketable, lol. I have looked over the officer trades and just haven't seen anything besides Intelligence I think I would enjoy and be good at. And like you said, there are no guarantees even after you get in about a re-muster or OT so I am looking for a trade that I could see myself doing for the rest of my career as well.

I will definately keep your advice in mind!

Thanks!
 

catalyst

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I've looked at this thread (http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/26465.0/all.html) and a few others, thinking this may be the best place to ask.

I'm wondering if there is a specific "Social Work Recruiter contact" (like there is for the Medical Officer recruitment, etc) - and how I would find this out....unfortunatly I am DWAN less and google doesn't turn up anything.

I'm looking for some advice on field placements.....I'm looking at addictions, mental health, and family social worker.....but am unsure of which would be the most advantageous to becoming a CF social worker (which is a long way off, gotta get through the BSW first! but I'd like to still plan).
 
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I apologize for highjacking your thread, but I also have a question about the Social work officer trade. I have my application in. I have an acceptance to grad school and am applying for subsidization. I am really confused as I was told they are holding the selection board sometime in May by a recruiter, but I was also told that you are unable to begin your schooling until you completed the full basic officer training. Further,  I was also told by the recruiting centre that officer training begins in May, thus there may not be enough time to get trained. There was no way I could make it on an earlier board as the recruiter told me I needed an acceptance letter to grad school before I could begin the recruiting process. Most grad schools do not send out acceptance letters until March (at the earliest). I realize that the process is competitive and I may not be selected, but I am just hoping to get clearer info. I am very interested in social work in the CF and am hoping to get some insight into how the process plays out?
 
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