National Awards

NASW and NASW Foundation Awards

group of 2018 award recipients

The NASW National Awards recognize leaders in the profession and in our communities who fully embody social work values and ethics. Our past award recipients have accomplished the extraordinary and we have been honored to recognize them.

We need your participation to keep the tradition moving forward. Please consider nominating a social worker or individual who exemplifies the best of the profession’s values for one of the following awards:

  • A professional social worker who has made significant contributions or developed model programs that have been replicated for Social Worker of The Year or Lifetime Achievement
  • An individual who has gone above and beyond in their community for Public Citizen of The Year
  • An elected official who has shown leadership in public policy issues important to the profession for Public Elected Official of The Year
  • A professional social worker who has made exemplary contributions in health and mental health practice for Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement
  • An individual or group that has made a significant impact on national mental health public policy, professional standards, or program models for Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement
  • An individual, group, or organization that has significantly advanced the public image of professional social work for the International Rhoda G. Sarnat Award

Nominate Someone!

We will accept nominations for the NASW and NASW Foundation Recognition Awards from July 16 through September 10, 2019.


Please contact us at or 202-336-8270.

2017 Award Recipients

Social Worker of The Year
Kimber Nicoletti-Martinez, MSW, LCSW

Lifetime Achievement 
Ruth Brandwein, PhD, MSW

Public Elected Official of The Year
Mayor Madeline Rogero, City of Knoxville, TN

Public Citizen of The Year
Jay Berlin, PhD

Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement
Flavio F. Marsiglia, PhD, MSW

Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement
James R. Mackay, PhD, MSW

Knee/Wittman Outstanding Achievement
Virna Little, PsyD, LCSW-R, SAP, CCM

International Rhoda G. Sarnat 
Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman