Emerging Social Work Leader Award

The Emerging Social Work Leader Award honors a member of the National Association of Social Workers who has been in practice for five years or less and has demonstrated outstanding contributions as a leader who is at the beginning phase of their social work career.


The award recipient must:

  1. Have an MSW degree from an accredited graduate social work program
  2. Have five or fewer years of post-masters practice experience
  3. Make a demonstrably difference in such areas as:
    • Community service/leadership; 
    • Advocacy
    • Social Work Practice
    • Education
    • Research
    • Management and leadership 
  4. Risks the nominee took to achieve results 
  5. Contribute to a positive image for the social work profession 
  6.  Be an NASW member in good standing.

Nomination Procedure

NASW Chapters, and individuals may nominate a social worker by submitting the following:

  1. Completed official awards nomination form
  2. A summary that describes:
    • What the nominee has accomplished
    • What risks the nominee took to achieve results
    • Who the beneficiaries were
  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.

2020 NASW Award Recipients