Many caseworkers choose to pursue a career in clinical services. They attend graduate school in psychology, social work, or a similar field before beginning a private practice. Read some of the below stories to learn about some people that have chosen this track.

Alexis Howard, MSW, LCSW-R

Career

Alexis Howard is a licensed clinical social worker with over 24 years of experience in the profession. Currently, Ms. Howard is the NYC Coordinator for the NY Social Work Education Consortium, the consortium being a formal partnership between the New York State Association of Deans of Social Work Schools and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, and the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. Ms. Howard is a clinician who practices from a wellness approach to care, in her work with individuals, groups, families, and communities. She has a private practice and consults with community based mental health settings. Although Ms. Howard has functioned in many capacities in her professional life from direct line caseworker, to practitioner, administrator, field instructor, adjunct faculty, and consultant, her role as a child welfare caseworker was her first role and the most memorable one.

Child Welfare beginning

Child welfare is a specialty and I was fortunate to work within the continuum of the child welfare system of care, from prevention to foster care. The complexities of this work prepared me for my future clinical work with individuals and families. In child welfare practice you become skilled in so many areas; loss and separation, crisis work, trauma based work, and community practice to name a few.

While working in child welfare there are numerous social ills, which often intersect with the child welfare system, poverty, disproportionality, intimate partner violence, mental health, and substance abuse, As child welfare staff grapple with these problems on a daily basis, there is a consistent need for organizational support of staff, as well as support around good personal care.