Richard Hartman, MD - Board Certified Psychiatrist

Wade Hamil, PhD - Clinical/Neuropsychologist

Tonya L. Vose, LCSW - Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Tel: (405) 606-1213
Fax: (405) 573-0404

Make an appointment

448 36th Avenue NW
Suite 101
Norman, OK 73072

Mailing Address:
4001 Knights Bridge
Norman, OK 73072
vose photo

Social Worker

  • While a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement, a master's degree in social work or a related field has become the standard for many positions.
  • Employment is projected to grow faster than average.
  • Competition for jobs is expected in cities, but opportunities should be good in rural areas.

Nature of the Work Social work is a profession for those with a strong desire to help improve people's lives. Social workers help people function the best way they can in their environment, deal with their relationships and solve personal and family problems.

Social workers often see clients who face a life-threatening disease or a social problem. These problems may include inadequate housing, unemployment, lack of job skills, financial distress, serious illness or disability, substance abuse, unwanted pregnancy or anti-social behavior. Social workers also assist families that have serious domestic conflicts, including those involving child or spousal abuse.

Through direct counseling, social workers help clients identify their concerns, consider effective solutions and find reliable resources. Social workers typically consult and counsel clients and arrange for services that can help them. Often, they refer clients to specialists in services such as debt counseling, childcare or eldercare, public assistance or alcohol or drug rehabilitation. Social workers then follow through with the client to assure that services are helpful and that clients make proper use of the services offered. Social workers may review eligibility requirements, help fill out forms and applications, visit clients on a regular basis and provide support during crises.

Social workers practice in a variety of settings. In hospitals and psychiatric hospitals, they provide or arrange for a range of support services. In mental health and community centers, social workers provide counseling services on marriage, family and adoption matters, and they help people through personal or community emergencies, such as dealing with loss or grief or arranging for disaster assistance. In schools, they help children, parents and teachers cope with problems. In social service agencies, they help people locate basic benefits, such as income assistance, housing and job training. Social workers also offer counseling to those receiving therapy for addictive or physical disorders in rehabilitation facilities and to people in nursing homes who are in need of routine living care. In employment settings, they counsel people with personal, family, professional or financial problems affecting their work performance. Social workers who work in courts and correction facilities evaluate and counsel individuals in the criminal justice system to cope better in society. In private practice, they provide clinical or diagnostic testing services covering a wide range of personal disorders. Social workers working in private practice also counsel clients with mental and emotional problems.

Social workers often provide social services in health-related settings that now are governed by managed care organizations. To contain costs, these organizations are emphasizing short-term intervention, ambulatory and community-based care, and greater decentralization of services.

Most social workers specialize. Although some conduct research or are involved in planning or policy development, most social workers prefer an area of practice in which they interact with clients.

Clinical social workers offer psychotherapy or counseling and a range of diagnostic services in public agencies, clinics and private practice for persons with mental or emotional problems. Such services include individual and group therapy, outreach, crisis intervention, social rehabilitation and training in skills of everyday living. They also may help plan for supportive services to ease patients' return to the community. Clinical social workers also help patients and their families cope with chronic, acute or terminal illnesses and handle problems that may stand in the way of recovery or rehabilitation. They may organize support groups for families of patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer's disease or other illnesses. They also advise family caregivers, counsel patients and help plan for patients' needs after discharge by arranging for at-home services-from meals-on-wheels to oxygen equipment. Some work on interdisciplinary teams that evaluate certain kinds of patients-geriatric or organ transplant patients, for example.