- Earn your online master's in social work from Case Western Reserve University's No. 9 ranked school of social work by U.S. News & World Report. The degree is CSWE accredited and can be completed in two and a half years. No GRE Required. Click Here to learn more.
- With Walden University’s CSWE-Accredited Online Master of Social Work you’ll get a remote learning experience that includes virtual scenarios and labs to prepare you for anything that might come your way in your social work career, along with all the practical skills you need to ace your state licensing exam. Click here to learn about this program.
- Capella University's CSWE accredited online Master of Social Work program helps prepare students to enter the general or clinical practice role. An Advanced Standing MSW option is available. Capella also offers an online Doctor of Social Work. Click Here to contact Capella University about their Master of Social Work program or Doctor of Social Work program.
Schools of Social Work in Delaware offering MSW programs & MSW Job Opportunities
Delaware, named for Lord de la Warr (the first governor of the state of Virginia), was the first state to ratify the US Constitution (1). The state is only 96 miles long, and it varies in width from nine to 35 miles across, with an area of only 1,982 square miles. Although it is the second smallest state, it is a densely populated state (401 people per square mile) with a thriving economy based on manufacturing, mining and fishing (2).
The median household income in the state is higher than the national average of $62,843; residents of Delaware make a median salary of $68,287. Only 11.3 percent of the population lives in poverty, which is higher than the national average of 10.5 percent. The state has a higher than average home ownership rate (71.2 percent of the population are homeowners, compared to the national average of 65.5 percent). Delaware also has a larger than average African American population (23.2 percent of the population is African American), and a higher-than-average percentage of companies owned by African American proprietors (3). The state has the second highest income per capita in the nation (second only to the District of Columbia) (4). By many standards, Delaware is a vibrant, thriving state.
Delaware Social Issues
In 2013, the state underwent a Community Health Status Assessment. The results indicate some key areas that will likely affect social work and policy in Delaware. Some of these include:
- Almost half of children ages 12-17 were identified as clinically overweight or obese.
- The homicide rate has doubled from 1997-2009.
- The homeless population has dramatically increased in Delaware.
- The existence of a growing migrant population that may need assistance to accessing services.
- Concerns about identification of mental health needs and access to associated services.
- Suicide rates are higher for persons age 10-24 years old.
- Poverty levels have increased by 20 percent since 2006.
- Unemployment has increased 60 percent, despite a lower statewide unemployment rate of 7.4 percent, as compared to the national average of 9.2 percent (5).
In addition, Delaware’s population is older than the national average, which provides opportunities in fields associated with healthcare and gerontology (6).
Becoming a Social Worker in Delaware
According to the 2019 US News & World Report graduate school search findings, you can get a master’s degree in social work in state at Delaware State University (7). You can learn more about the master’s in social work program at Delaware State University here.
Since Delaware is such a small state with few colleges, you may want to investigate opportunities at nearby New England schools that offer graduate programs in social work. Multiple New England schools rank in the top 25 in the nation. However, not all New England states offer reciprocity, so you will want to check to ensure the coursework and other requirements for licensure in the state in which you intend to practice post-graduation are available to you.
When you are ready to look for a job, you will want to see if you qualify for any loan forgiveness programs like the National Health Service Corps loan forgiveness program (NHSC). If you find work in state that is designated as a “Health Professional Shortage Area” (HPSA), working with an underserved community, you may qualify for loan forgiveness of as much as $20,000 per year, for up to two years.
Employment Opportunities for Social Workers
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, approximately 3,290 individuals are employed as social workers in the state. Of those people, 1,320 work as child, family and school social workers, earning a median income of $38,930 per year. The 620 healthcare social workers in the state make a median salary of $57,650 per year. Only 400 people work as mental health and substance abuse social workers in the state, and they make a median income of $47,270 per year. The highest paying social work positions in the state go to postsecondary educators, who can expect to make a median salary of $72,630. Currently, 90 postsecondary social work educators are employed in the state (8).
Social work jobs are projected to increase between 2016 – 2026. Child, family and school social workers are expected to have good job prospects and an annual growth rate of 13 percent (9), while medical and healthcare social worker positions are expected to see an increase of 14 percent (10). Mental health and substance abuse social workers will see the greatest growth within the social work profession with a 14 percent annual growth rate (11). Unfortunately, the social work sector that pays the best – postsecondary social work educators – is not anticipating job growth at all (12). However, opportunities in general should be increasing at a pace that is faster than the national averages.
Licensure and Professional Development Resources
- Delaware Social Work License Requirements
- National Association of Social Workers, Delaware Chapter
- Delaware Board of Social Work Examiners
Universities Offering Master’s in Social Work Programs in Delaware
- Delaware Facts and Trivia, 2014. 50 States.com. http://www.50states.com/facts/delaware.htm#.U8_p_oBdWzU
- The Official Website of the State of Delaware, 2014. Delaware.Gov. http://www.delaware.gov/topics/facts/index.shtml
- State and County QuickFacts, 2019. United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/dashboard/US/PST045219
- Economy Statistics, 2014. State Master. http://www.statemaster.com/graph/eco_gdp_percap-product-current-dollars-per-capita
- State of Delaware Community Health Status Assessment, 2103. Delaware Health and Social Services. http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/files/shachsa.pdf
- State and County QuickFacts, 2019. United States Census Bureau. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/dashboard/DE,CT,US/PST045219
- Graduate School Search – Social Work Programs, 2019. US News and World Report. https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-health-schools/social-work-rankings?location=Delaware
- Statewide Statistics for Delaware, 2019. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- America’s Career InfoNet – Career Profile, 2019. Career One Stop. https://www.careeronestop.org/Toolkit/Careers/Occupations/Occupation-profile.aspx?keyword=Child,%20Family,%20and%20School%20Social%20Workers&onetcode=21102100&location=delaware&lang=en
- America’s Career InfoNet – Career Profile, 2019. Career One Stop. https://www.careeronestop.org/Toolkit/Careers/Occupations/Occupation-profile.aspx?keyword=Healthcare%20Social%20Workers&onetcode=21102200&location=delaware&lang=en
- America’s Career InfoNet – Career Profile, 2019. Career One Stop. https://www.careeronestop.org/Toolkit/Careers/Occupations/Occupation-profile.aspx?keyword=Mental%20Health%20and%20Substance%20Abuse%20Social%20Workers&onetcode=21102300&location=delaware&lang=en
- BLS – Career Profile, 2019. Career One Stop. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes251113.htm