The professional activity of helping individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities to enhance or restore their capacity for social functioning and to create societal conditions favorable to their goals. Social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; of social, economic, and cultural institutions, and of the interaction of all these factors.
Social workers use their knowledge and skills to provide social services to clients, as defined by the National Association of Social Workers. They help people increase their capacities for problem solving and help them obtain needed resources, facilitate interactions between individuals and between people and their environments, make organizations responsible to people, and influence social policies. One common misconception of social workers is that people believe that most of them are "baby snatchers.” People don't see the services provided by social workers, the families social workers have helped, or the children social workers have saved, or the parents that come back to thank the social workers.