@tangledupinzen: I’ve had my MSW since 2003 and honestly, I would advise relocating to wherever you need to go to obtain your Master’s as opposed to a Bachelor’s in SW. I’m not sure about all states but I know when I went through, we were told that you pretty much need to have a master’s degree to do most types of social work, particularly if you plan on advancing up through the field some day (i.e. becoming a senior worker, team leader, or manager). Also, a MSW is much more versatile in that you can go into pretty much any branch of social work without an issue – school, hospital, mental health, counselling etc. From my understanding (and again, I have no knowledge of Texas, I’m from Illinois), BSW allow you to do the grunt work of social work but you can’t really move up from there.
Also, regardless of the degree, I think once you have a bachelor’s, any further degrees you pursue should be master’s or higher, not another bachelor’s. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to do another bachelor’s degree and won’t be recognised as much in terms of salary negotiations, seniority, or even in terms of making you a standout candidate.
I’ve done school social work in the US as well as child protection social work in the UK and Australia. It is quite a rewarding field but it is very easy to become burned out, especially if you’re in a high stress field like child protection. You definitely want the qualifications to move up through the system so after a few years of being a front line worker, you can seek out promotions and get out of the high stress arena.
Social work is definitely a great field to get into – no two days are ever the same and it can be quite rewarding, but has an equal, if not greater, number of heartbreaking days, so just be prepared for that. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than removing a newborn baby from its mother’s arms to place it into foster care, after you’ve worked your butt off to try and help her get her life together, but then there is nothing better than seeing a family who is able to stay together because you’ve busted your ass getting them the necessary supports to function as a normal family unit. Like I said, it’s a great job and never boring!
Feel free to PM me if you have any questions. I left social work to get into teaching with a not for profit for two years and am now a stay at home wife whilst expecting my first baby with my husband, but after 6 years in the field, I think I have a pretty good grasp on the pros/cons of it! Good luck!