National Awards ProgramPublic Citizen of the Year Award

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the largest membership organization of professional social workers, established the Public Citizen of the Year Award to honor an outstanding member of the community whose accomplishments exemplify the values and mission of professional social work. The award recipient is not a social worker.


The award recipient must:

  • Make a significant contribution to an area or population of concern to the social work profession such as
    • at-risk or vulnerable populations
    • quality of life in communities
    • social issues
  • Act with courage
  • Demonstrate outstanding leadership
  • Exemplify social work values and ethics

Chapters, individuals, and social welfare organizations may nominate a public citizen by submitting the following. Click here to submit a nomination.

  • Completed official nomination form
  • A summary that describes
    • What the nominee accomplished
    • What the consequences were
    • Who the beneficiaries were
    • How the nominee’s accomplishments relate to social work
  • Curriculum vita
  • Three (3) endorsements

To ensure the nominee’s eligibility, please adhere to the nomination guidelines. Use clear, concise, descriptive examples of activities and accomplishments. The National Awards Committee selects and makes recommendations to the National Board of Directors, which approves the award recipient.
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