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Children, youth and family social workers focus on working with individuals under the age of 18 as well as their family members, guardians, foster parents, and any other adults who are living in the same households. These social workers may provide all of the services their clients require in terms of counseling and guidance. They may also become the advocate for the client, representing their needs to various social service agencies that provide food, clothing, shelter, education, and a deeper level of therapy than the social worker can offer.
School social workers are primarily concerned with the problems their young clients are having in school, but they will often have to reach into the student's home experience to understand where the problems are coming from. Youth and family social workers can deal directly with their clients' problems on their own, or they can advocate to social service agencies for further professional help.