Role of Social Worker in Community Prevention Programs

Table of Content

A crucial role in society is played by an Addiction counselor as they implement prevention techniques. With their knowledge and skills, they are essential in addressing the rising cases of substance dependence. They have the responsibility of implementing strategies to prevent young individuals from succumbing to addiction.

Preventing young individuals from engaging in alcohol and substance abuse is a more efficient and less time-consuming approach than treating addiction. Addiction counselors contribute to community prevention efforts by fulfilling diverse roles, including:

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  1. Enabler In the enabler role, an addiction counselor helps communities become capable of coping with situations or stress of having members of the society battling substance use and abuse. Addiction counselor conveys hope, reducing resistance and ambivalence, recognizing and managing feelings, identifying and supporting personal strengths and social assets, breaking down problems into parts that can be solved more readily, and maintaining a focus on goals and the means of achieving them (Barker, 1995).
  2. Mediator The mediator role involves resolving arguments or conflicts micro, mezzo, or macro systems. At the macro level, the mediator helps various subsystems within a community, or a community and some other system, work out their differences. At the micro and mezzo levels, mediation helps in such areas as resolving divorce and child custody cases. A mediator remains neutral and does not side with either party in the dispute.
  3. Integrator/Coordinator Integration is the process of bringing together various parts to form a unified whole. Coordination involves bringing components together in some kind of organized manner. An addiction counselor can function as an integrator/coordinator in many ways, ranging from. Advocacy and identification of coordination opportunities, to provision of technical assistance, to direct involvement in the development and implementations of service linkages.
  4. Manager Management in addiction counseling involves having some level of administrative responsibility for asocial agency or other unit to determine organizational goals` acquire resources and allocate them to carry out programs; coordinate activities toward the achievement of selected goals; and monitor, assess, and make necessary changes in processes and structure to improve effectiveness and efficiency.
  5. Educator This is the most important role an addiction counselor will play in addition prevention strategies. As an educator, an addiction counselor will be involved in giving information and teaching skills to communities about the most commonly used drugs in the area, how to know if any one of your family members is abusing drugs, methodologies that can be applied to ensure that families and communities provide adequate knowledge to their children about drugs and their effects. To effectively deliver the prevention message, the addiction counselor should seek to educate all people who directly or indirectly influence the decision making process of the youth. They include the primary care givers, schools and other academic institutions and the community in general. To be an effective educator, the worker must first be knowledgeable. Additionally, the worker must be a good communicator so that information is conveyed clearly and is understood by the client or macro system.
  6. Analyst/Evaluator Addiction counselor should have a broad knowledge base of how various ystems function so that he can analyze or evaluate how well prevention programs and systems work. They can also evaluate the effectiveness of their own interventions. Broker As a broker, an addiction counselor will helps link clients (individuals, groups, organizations, or communities) with community resources and services available to address the community`s needs for preventive services. For instance, she can connect a church or a youth group with an organization such as NACADA who can be called upon to facilitate community awareness programs. A broker also helps put “various segments of the community in touch with one another “to enhance their mutual interests (Barker, 1995, p. 43). In micro and mezzo systems, this requires that the worker be familiar with community services, have general knowledge about eligibility requirements, and be sensitive to client needs. As a broker, he may also help a recovering addict obtain emergency food or housing, legal aid, or other needed resources especially in the early stages of recovery.
  7. Facilitator A facilitator is “one who serves as a leader for some group experience” (Barker, 1995, p. 129). The group may be a family therapy group, a task group, a sensitivity group, an educational group, a self-help group, or a group with some other focus. The facilitator role may also apply to macro practice. In this context, a facilitator assumes the responsibility to expedite the change effort by bringing together people and lines of communication, channeling their activities and resources, and providing them with access to expertise.
  8. Negotiator A negotiator represents an organization, a group, or an individual that is trying to gain something from another group or system. Somewhat like mediation, negotiation involves finding a middle ground that all sides can lived with and achieving consensus whenever possible. However, unlike mediators, who play a neutral role, negotiators clearly ally themselves with one of the sides involved. Advocate Advocacy involves “the act of directly representing a course of action on behalf on one or more individuals, groups, or communities, with the goal of securing or retaining social justice”(Mickelson, 1995, p. 5). The advocate role involves stepping forward and speaking on behalf of the client system. The advocate role is one of the most important roles an addiction counselor can assume, despite its potential difficulties.


A social worker who specializes in addiction counseling has the responsibility to initiate and enforce preventive measures that enable every individual in society to reach their fullest potential.

When addiction counselors fully accept their assigned roles, they can become catalysts for positive transformation in society and play a part in enhancing community prosperity. It is essential for them to actively involve themselves with communities and provide education on how to combat the detrimental effects of alcohol and substance abuse. In these communities, there are numerous individuals who may not recognize their capacity to contribute towards our shared welfare.

We should strive to empower communities so that they can independently implement programs that will positively impact future generations in our absence.


  1. Barker, R. L. (1995). The social work dictionary (3rd ed. ). Washington, DC: NASW Press.
  2. Yessian, M. R. , & Broskowski, A. (1983). Generalists in human-service systems: Their problems and prospects.
  3. Prentice Hall. Zastrow, C. , & Kirst-Ashman, K. (1997). Understanding human behavior and the social environment (4thed. ). Wadsworth Publishing Company

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Role of Social Worker in Community Prevention Programs. (2016, Dec 10). Retrieved from

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