The armed forces social service helps members of the armed forces, the Red Cross service, and the civil defense. These services are for people who encounter difficulties in their personal, professional, or family circumstances.
The aim of the armed forces social service is to reduce social differences. Help ranges from personal consultation for family, financial, or legal questions. Some action areas are labor law (protection against dismissal, continued payment of partial wages), income replacement, health insurance premiums, debt enforcement, and the like. Military social work aims to assist with information, advice, support, mediation, and financial support.
They may also provide financial help if necessary and according to the decision of the adviser. They draw up the budget together after studying the case. For example, the social service helps with temporary financial bottlenecks or until the income compensation flows out. It contributes towards the rent so that the service provider can keep the apartment. As a rule, it does not accept installment contracts, leasing contracts, and debts. It also offers services to military personnel, such as laundry. This personnel can obtain more information from their line managers.
The military social service promotes activities for the common welfare of the armed forces in their free time. It supports people who do peace building or assistance services abroad or patients who get into difficulties because of an accident or illness in the military. There’s also military insurance that it covers, which supports their surviving dependents in the event of their death. The available funds come from donations from foundations and the government.
Would you like to know if military social work is the right profession for you? First, take a look at this career guide and continue reading the article to make an informed career decision.
THE SOCIAL WORKER IN THE MILITARY
The profile of a military social worker should have the following traits, knowledge, skills, and qualities:
- Social and Artistic
- Analytics and research
- Ability to express ideas clearly and concisely
- Desire to help others
- Interest in researching and teaching
- Sensitivity to the needs of others
- Stages of grief
- Company policies
- Psychological consequences of war experiences
- Legislation in the social sector
- Social science
- Needs of the elderly
- Crisis intervention
- Social Work Theories
- Social justice
- Strengthen users of social services
- Enable users of social services to understand legal provisions
- Communicate professionally with colleagues from other specialist areas
- Protect vulnerable users of social services
- Implement a holistic approach in social services
- Assess the everyday skills of older adults and the living conditions of users of the social services
- Apply socially fair working principles
- Apply individual case management
- Keeping documents on working with users of services
- Promote mental health
- Apply crisis intervention
- Include users of the health system and caregivers in the care plan
- Promote social change
- Apply organizational techniques
- Refer users of the health system to others
- Work in a multicultural healthcare environment
- Recognize mental health problems
- Communicate with the users of the social services
- Comply with standards in the practice of social services
- Build professional networks
- Implement problem-solving strategies in social services
- Demonstrate leadership skills in social service cases
- Negotiate with social service stakeholders
- React empathically
- Working within communities
- Provide social services to organizations of diverse cultural backgrounds
- Dealing with ethical issues in social services
- Build helpful relationships with users of social services
Social workers also apply professional social work knowledge and practices to provide adequate mental health services to military personnel and their families. They are responsible for performing social work-related functions, including critical event meetings, substance abuse, consulting, and clinical counseling. They provide consultancy to senior officers and promote research, training, and residency programs related to social work.
Military social workers usually start their careers after earning a college degree. On-job orientation and training for social workers consist of career growth opportunities, including continuing education courses, seminars, conferences, and hands-on classes in different training settings. Like other officers, they complete a comprehensive training program covering military responsibilities, structure and protocol, traditions, and leadership development.
According to a study, many war veterans suffer from severe mental health disorders. It ranges from post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression to substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, and suicide.
The military couples and children also suffer the rebound effect of the war trauma that some soldiers suffer when they show resistance. In most cases, they need psychological or psychiatric assistance for fear of being stigmatized.
Therefore, psychological care alone was not enough. Still, it was a matter of reintegrating these people into the community, i.e., their environment, family, employment, and housing. As a clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of California quotes:
To carry out this work, extra training (postgraduate or training module) is necessary. Social workers do not have adequate knowledge of the consequences and treatment of a traumatic brain injury or post-traumatic stress disorder. They may not be familiar with aspects of the military experience that can influence how a client approaches and responds to intervention.
The NASW (National Association of Social Workers) of the USA worked in collaboration with the Union of Armed Forces to help fill these gaps. They are preparing a series of training modules that will help them function better as social work professionals.
The military is a fascinating yet demanding field of work. It offers steady career growth and a respectable position in society. Who better understands the interconnectedness of problems than social workers who view the client from a person-in-the-environment perspective?
It is a great way to get more exposure and network with professional contacts. A military social worker observes a diverse role and works in multiple areas of social work.