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Individuals who help people function as best 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 variety of social problems which may include inadequate housing, unemployment, lack of job skills, financial distress, serious illness or disability, substance abuse, unwanted pregnancy or anti-social behaviour. Social workers also assist families that have serious domestic conflicts including those involving child or spousal abuse; provide services for prison inmates, parolees, probationers and their families; help workers cope with job-related pressures or with personal problems that affect the quality of their work; advise elderly people or family members about their choices in areas such as housing, transportation and long-term care; coordinate and monitor services for older adults; and run support groups for family caregivers or for the adult children of aging parents.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.