Occupational Social Work
Occupational Social Work and Employee Assistance Programs
An organization’s workforce is a critical part of its success or failure. Occupational social workers help employees with problems that affect their job performance and satisfaction. Just as important, they also help the corporations, businesses, and associations that hire them. Occupational social workers help corporations re-engineer their structure and methods to improve efficiency, creativity, productivity, and moral. They may also work for a union and be involved in job counseling or organizing.
Employee assistance programs (EAP) are a growing practice area for occupational social workers. The social worker may own the EAP or be employed by a business or union, working on–site or off. Daily tasks for EAP social workers are varied and can range from helping an executive cope with the strain of an impending takeover to counseling an anorexic young trainee. EAP social workers may lead groups on stress reduction or coping with layoffs. They also deal with substance use, domestic violence, single parenting, and vocational rehabilitation issues. Many EAP programs now also manage mental health benefits for corporations.
A challenging and diverse area of social work practice, occupational social workers provide the human dimension for today’s businesses and workforce.
• Employee assistance program
• Labor unions
• Organizational development firms
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