Social Worker of The Year Award

The Social Worker of The Year Award honors a member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) who exemplifies the best of the profession’s values and achievements through specific accomplishments. In honoring the Social Worker of the Year, NASW highlights superb accomplishments in the practice of social work. Only NASW Chapters may submit nominations for this category of award.


The award recipient must:

  1. Make a demonstrable difference in such areas as:
    • Advocacy for clients/social policy; 
    • Social work practice
    • Program development
    • Administration Research 
  2. Demonstrate outstanding leadership 
  3. Contribute to a positive image for the social work profession 
  4. Take risks to achieve outstanding results 
  5.  Be an NASW member in good standing

Nomination Procedure

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

  1. Completed official awards nomination form
  2. A summary that describes:
    • What the social worker has accomplished
    • What risks the social worker 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.


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