Social Worker vs. Human Services Caseworker: What’s the Difference?

Even though the two professions have a lot in common on the surface, it may seem odd to compare human services and social work in this discussion. Helping people improve their lives, solve problems, and integrate social services is a major focus of both social work and human services. However, a Master’s in Social Work and a Master’s in Human Services have different degree programs and outcomes. Here, we’ll look at the similarities and differences between them to help you decide which is best for your upcoming projects.

The Difference

A human services professional focuses on the bigger picture. Social workers often work directly with clients to carry out social programs. As a human services worker, you may work as an administrator in an advocacy organization, which help support underserved communities.

What is a human services caseworker?

An expert who offers counseling and assistance to clients in at-risk populations is a human services caseworker. Compared to social workers, they frequently work on a wider variety of social justice and community issues. For instance, they might work with groups or entire communities rather than just one client at a time to promote positive change. Caseworkers for human services may direct a clinical practice, oversee community outreach initiatives, or promote policy development. Numerous human services caseworkers additionally offer addiction and mental health counseling.

While the day-to-day duties of a human services caseworker may vary depending on the needs of the people, groups, and communities they serve, some of their main obligations include:

What is a social worker?

A social worker gives people the resources they need to improve their circumstances in order to help them overcome difficult situations and challenges in their lives. They might assist families dealing with trauma or terminal illnesses, address social injustices, or offer addiction and mental health counseling. They might also work with survivors of domestic abuse. The primary duties of a social worker may vary depending on their area of specialization and the daily needs of their patients, but some of them include:

Social worker vs. human services caseworker

Although both a social worker and a human services caseworker are occupations in the field of community and social services, it’s critical to comprehend what distinguishes these roles. Here are some of the primary distinctions between a social worker and a caseworker for human services:


The educational requirements for both human services workers and social workers are similar because they both assist people in risky situations. Typically, employers demand that social workers hold a bachelor’s degree in social work. Additionally, they might recognize a bachelor’s degree in sociology, psychology, or a related subject. The minimum requirement to work in human services is a bachelor’s degree in social work. However, in order to increase their employment opportunities and advance in their careers, many human services caseworkers opt to earn a master’s degree in social work.


Human services caseworkers and social workers both need to complete supervised fieldwork. Both bachelor’s and master’s programs frequently offer internships and field practica. You can get the practical experience you need to start your career by taking part in an internship or field practicum. Typically, social workers need to have at least two years of work experience under the supervision of a licensed social worker.

States may have different standards for human services caseworker training. Human services caseworkers typically require less training than social workers, but when they first enter the field, they frequently continue working under the supervision of senior caseworkers. In some states, human services caseworkers must continue their education throughout their careers in order to keep their jobs. As a caseworker for human services, you might pursue advanced training in some of the following areas:


Before starting a career, social workers must become board certified. While the requirements for this certification may differ from state to state depending on whether the applicant works in a clinical or non-clinical setting, passing an exam given by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) is typically required. The ASWB offers five categories of exams for social workers:

While human services caseworkers must be certified in order to work, social workers’ certification requirements can vary from state to state. In some states, depending on the particular industry you work in as a human services caseworker, you might not need to pursue additional certification. To find out what kind of license, registration, or certification you specifically need to practice in your field, use a search engine. The National Association of Social Workers offers a variety of licensure options for human services caseworkers, should you decide to pursue additional certifications.

Work environment

Although social workers typically work full-time hours, they may also need to work on the weekends or in the evenings to meet the needs of their clients. They might also put in additional hours as needed to help out in an emergency Social workers may additionally offer on-call services, depending on the organization they work for. Some of the most common workplaces for social workers include:

Depending on the type of services they offer, human services caseworkers may need to be more flexible with their schedules than social workers, who also work full-time hours. For instance, to care for patients, human services caseworkers frequently work on the weekends and in the evenings to provide mental health and substance abuse counseling. While they may work in offices to conduct meetings and complete paperwork, they frequently spend the majority of their time performing home visits outside of offices. Caseworkers for human services can work in a variety of environments, such as:

Salary and benefits

Please note that Indeed is not affiliated with any of the businesses mentioned in this article.

Social Worker Vs. Case Worker


What is the difference between a caseworker and a social worker?

In essence, a case manager coordinates their treatment plan in place of therapy, whereas a social worker cares for a client and offers them therapy. Additionally, unlike social workers, case managers don’t offer their clients any kind of therapy.

What’s the difference between human services and social services?

The diverse, expansive field of human services is motivated by a single objective: to assist in meeting people’s fundamental needs. A subset of human services, social services’ main goal is to improve the wellbeing of those in need in order to make society more equitable.

What is a caseworker in social work?

Caseworkers, also referred to as social workers, provide assistance and counseling to vulnerable people or families, such as senior citizens, people with serious illnesses, or children from troubled homes. They are employed by government agencies or non-profit organizations. Completely free trial, no card required.

Is a case manager considered a social worker?

Social workers called case managers coordinate care for their clients. Case managers collaborate with institutions and agencies to guarantee that clients receive the care they require.

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