How to become a social worker

A social worker is an important person in the society. Their work helps individuals and communities find solutions to many of life’s problems. Social work has many different aspects to it, with each aspect requiring special education, experience, and licensing from registered bodies. The following information gives you a brief look at how to pursue this fulfilling profession.

Theresa Beatty

Choose a specialty

Some social workers work with the family unit while others focus on all types of people. Others work with the elderly while others work with children. Social workers have different areas open to their skills, so it helps to know which specialty may be of interest to you. Knowing which area to pursue will also help you choose the right post-secondary education.

Get a degree

For most social work entry-level positions, a degree in social work or a related field is a requirement. The most popular degrees in this field are psychology, social work, education, sociology, and child development. The course work will prepare you intellectually for the work and experiences ahead.


While a degree is important, an internship will provide you the opportunities to be of service to others. Even if the internship is not exactly in line with your interest, any work with the community builds the skills necessary to excel in the field.

Master’s degree

If you want to become a licensed social worker, you need at least a master’s degree. Master’s programs mix coursework with clinical practice. A master’s program will ensure you are adequately prepared for taking on bigger roles and responsibilities.

Theresa Beatty is a family mediator working in LaGrange, Atlanta. She has a BA in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work, the education she attained at the start of her career in the late 1970s.


Benefits of joining a book club

Theresa Beatty’s Divas Book Club has been meeting for some years now, and its members have discovered the joy of being involved in a book club. Through the forum, the members have gotten to know each other’s interests beyond reading, which has provided an avenue for shared activities.

Theresa Beatty
Theresa Beatty

What are the benefits of being part of a book club?

Sense of community

Being a part of the club allows members the opportunity to bond with other people and learn from each other’s experiences. The varied experiences change members’ perspectives on life issues. Also, the book club is a way to engage in something members like, with the productive discussions going a long way to easing any stress from outside life.

Intellectual growth

To many members, a book club is an avenue to learn more about the world. People tend to become so busy they may forget to improve their personal intellect. The club helps members learn about new works, cultures, and lifestyles so that each member gains an enhanced understanding of the world.

Break from routine

The book club is a getaway from a normal routine. Meeting new people and enjoying new material pulls you from the world when things get tough. The book club becomes your little escape where nothing else matters except the people and literature in front of you.


As a member of a book club, you get to interact and build friendships with like-minded people. The club offers a forum to build lasting friendships.

Theresa Beatty is a member of the Divas Book Club, which she sees as an excellent avenue to share her passion in reading with other knowledgeable and articulate women.

Why confidentiality in mediation is important

After days of talks, disputing parties reach an agreement on the core issues. They want closure, so the mediator and attorneys begin drafting the written agreement that will be enforceable. Confidential talks will continue, even as the parties seek agreement on some of the final issues. In all this, confidentiality has to be adhered to; an aspect so important that its absence may make or break a case.

Theresa Beatty
Theresa Beatty

Confidentiality is very important in the mediation process. For the disputing parties to feel open to raising their issues and motivations, they must be assured the discussions will not be disclosed to the public. Take that away and participants will surely have no motivation to come to the negotiation table. In many cases, parties will disclose private issues and perceptions that they would not want others to hear. Most mediators will tell you that getting clients to open up about their fears is what often leads to finding solutions.

“These are mediation proceedings and cannot be disclosed to outside parties,” is what mediators explain to disputing parties. “Whatever you say within the setting of these discussions is confidential.” These statements are usually said in the opening session of the mediation talks and precede the signing of a mediation agreement that ensures both parties agree to the process. Once everyone is clear on the process and the roles of the mediator, reaching an agreement that best serves both sides is the core focus.

Theresa Beatty, a family/divorce mediator, working in LaGrange, Atlanta, knows it’s important to enforce confidentiality. “It’s often the best way to get clients to open up and share their thoughts, which greatly helps in crafting a resolution.”

Insights into the mediation process

As a process that involves two disputing parties coming before a neutral third to try and find a resolution, structure and guidelines and guidelines to the process are necessary. The following are some of the basic steps followed in mediation.

Here, the mediator provides an opening statement to the proceedings. He/she gives an outline of the proceedings, with particular regard to the roles of each party, time to be taken, and the protocol of dispute resolution.

Theresa Beatty
Theresa Beatty

At this point, both sides are provided an opportunity to give their sides of the story. Most often, the party feeling most aggrieved will go first. Regardless, this opportunity is used by the parties to frame the issue at hand in their words, thus giving the mediator a chance to assess the emotional state of each side.

Gathering information
Once both sides have presented their cases, the mediator asks questions that help them gather facts and seek clarification. Additionally, it is in the mediator’s best interests to find a common understanding of both parties. For effective information gathering, the mediator needs to build rapport with both sides.

Generating solutions and agreements
Once the mediator is sufficiently satisfied with the information gathered, they will look to come up with a proposal that both sides can take sides agreeing upon. The commitment of both parties to finding a settlement is crucial, as their input goes a long way in achieving that.

Theresa Beatty is an experienced family/divorce mediator who works in LaGrange, Georgia. Her work has helped many families find lasting solutions to pressing issues.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

The issue of global warming is an all too real situation that can be daunting. With the ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions and rising sea levels, it can be discouraging for those looking for a way to slow down or even reverse climate change. There several personal lifestyle changes that you can make to help reduce your carbon footprint.

Theresa Beatty
Theresa Beatty

Eliminating the use of fossil fuels can help reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. While eliminating, the burning of oil, coal, and natural gas will be a challenge, using alternatives when possible can make a huge impact. The second leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is transportation. When a single gallon of gas is burned, it produces 20 pounds of CO2. To help decrease this pollutant, you could move closer to work, use mass transit to commute to work, switch to cycling or walking, or work from home.

If you are unable to cut back on your personal transportation, an easier way to help in the fight against climate change is to consume simply less. Cutting back on your daily consumption will result in fewer fossil fuels being burned to produce and ship the products around the world. Theresa Beatty, a family mediator in LaGrange, Georgia is particularly concerned about climate change. A member of the local Sierra Club, Theresa does what she can to reduce her carbon footprint in hopes of slowing down the effects that the greenhouse emissions are having on the global climate.

Celebrating 35-Years of Child Advocacy

For the last 35-years, Guardian Ad Litem program has helped more than 200,000 of Florida’s neglected, abandoned and abused children. The more than 10,000 individuals that are volunteering their time are committed to giving a voice to those children in Florida that are the most vulnerable. The programs have seen tremendous growth in both the number of volunteers and level of advocacy provided as a result of their training, legislation, public-private partnerships, sharing of best practices, and volunteer recruitment. Every year, the Guardian Ad Litem program volunteers save Florida $40 million in benefits and salaries.

Theresa Beatty
Theresa Beatty

The program has been invaluable for the state of Florida. Along with being an advocate for the most vulnerable children in the state, volunteers bring an immeasurable value to the children in the program. Children in the program who have a guardian ad litem volunteer advocating on their behalf do better in school, are 50 percent less likely to return to foster care, and are more likely to be adopted. The past 35-years Florida’s Guardian Ad Litem program has seen thousands of volunteers and staff work tirelessly on the behalf of the neglected and abused children of Florida. Working with local non-profit organizations, businesses, universities, and individual guardian ad litem volunteers, the programs mission of “I am for the child,” has been realized. From 1999, Theresa Beatty dedicated her time to ensure that the voice of the child is heard, and their best interests and wishes conveyed to the judge overseeing their case.

Theresa Beatty – Divorce Mediation

Mediation is one of the most commonly used methods of negotiating divorce settlements in the United States. Mediators do not automatically get involved in divorce proceedings, but instead are hired as neutral third parties when efforts to dissolve a union become difficult.

Theresa Beatty
Theresa Beatty

There is a growing concern in the profession that mediation may not be appropriate in divorce cases when matters of domestic violence are involved. Domestic violence is, unfortunately, common in many American families. And there is growing evidence that will be a factor in many cases that are referred to family mediation. In many cases the mediator may not know that the case in mediation involves abuse, either alleged or established. Recent studies have shown that spousal abuse exists in as many as fifty percent of the cases of custody and visitation disputes. It is therefore important for mediators to understand that roughly half of the cases referred to them have the potential for being cases of domestic violence. The mediator must now how to identify such couples, and how to process them in the most appropriate manner.

It is not always easy to identify or recognize domestic violence. Many of those directly affected want to keep it a secret, because of shame, fear or reprisal, the mistaken belief that it is a normal way for a relationship to function, or some other reason. Research demonstrates convincingly that family violence is, in fact, most often the result of generations of culturally learned behaviors and attitudes.

Theresa Beatty is a family and divorce mediator in the local judicial court in LaGrange, Georgia.