Lifetime Achievement Award

Each year, NASW selects a social worker for this national award to celebrate a lifetime of achievement. In honoring the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, NASW recognizes the best social work values and accomplishments demonstrated in the social worker’s lifetime career.


The award recipient must: 

  • Demonstrate repeated outstanding achievements, as well as:
    • Recognition beyond the social work profession 
    • Contributions of lasting impact 
    • Outstanding creativity 
  • Meet all criteria for Social Worker of the Year 
  •  Be an NASW member in good standing

Nomination Procedure

Chapters and individuals may nominate an NASW member who meets the above criteria by submitting the following:

  1. Completed official nomination form
  2. A summary of demonstrated contributions that describes:
    • What was outstanding about the nominee’s action(s)
    • Risks the nominee took to achieve results
    • What the nominee accomplished
    • Who the beneficiaries were
    • What long-term effect was achieved
  3. Curriculum vita
  4. 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 NASW Board of Directors, which approves the award recipient.


Please contact us at or 202-336-8270.

To learn more about the NASW Foundation Awards, please visit the Foundation's website

2022 Distinguished Awardees

  • Emerging Social Work Leader
    Monique Bingham, MSW
  • Public Citizen of the Year
    Dan Broyles, LMFT
  • Social Worker of the Year
    Patrice A. Palmer, DD, CDKA, MSW, LSW
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
    Nancy D. Miller, LMSW
  • Public Elected Official of the Year
    The Late Honorable Congressman John Lewis
  • Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement
    Denise Juliano-Bult, MSW
  • Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement
    The Honorable Deputy Secretary Andrea Palm, MSW
  • International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award
    Silas W. Kelly, LMSW