What IS Travel Social Work?

First, I think we need to define Travel Social Work so we're all on the same page moving forward.  Travel nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, tech, allied health, etc., opportunities have been around as long as I can remember. Travel Social Work is a newer sector of the market and follows the same model as those other disciplines.  Hospitals, behavioral health facilities, home health agencies, and sometimes military facilities have a high demand for social workers and case managers and can't always fill and/or retain the employees they need.

Cue us!  Travel Social Workers are hired in by staffing agencies to complete contracts in these facilities around the country for 13 weeks, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter.

This means, every 13 weeks or so, you get to pack it up and explore, all while earning an income doing what you love!  How exciting.  If you're anything like me, you have an insatiable wanderlust.  Working in traditional social work settings in a permanent position, you're often overworked, underpaid, and maybe you have a great benefit package working for a non-profit, but let's face it, do you ever get to take that vacation and go adventuring?

Since getting in to travel social work, I have completed multiple assignments in Northern California, Chicago, Upstate New York, Hawai'i, Washington, and am currently on assignment in North Carolina.  I have visited 11 National Parks, taken several international vacations, and have gotten to take time off between assignments to recharge.

For me, the greatest benefits to this work are:

  • Built-in travel opportunities;
  • No need to get involved in work-place politics;
  • I'm constantly challenged by having to learn new systems, state laws, and available resources;
  • Every assignment, I get to change my roles and responsibilities;
  • I get to explore, delve into, and learn about all of the sub-cultures in our incredible country;  
  • Have I mentioned National Parks?  I'm obsessed.
So, tell me, why are you considering this work and what intrigues you the most?


  1. Yes! I think you've been living in my head. I want to experience as much as possible with my social work license. I am tired of people thinking just because I am a social worker I am destitute. I feel that traveling social work can help with burn-out and I love the idea of serving others while traveling.

    1. Jump in! It's such a fun way to get paid to see the country. And, you learn so much - including how to just let go!

  2. Remarkable post. I simply came across your blog and desired to say that I have really enjoyed searching your blog posts. Thank you for sharing such blogs. Social Worker Job Manchester


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