Grow With NASW
From Campus to Career, Succeed With NASW
Joining the National Association of Social Workers while you are a student or new professional helps you build a strong and satisfying social work career. Students and new professionals who join NASW gain real-world knowledge of the profession and the communities social workers serve that goes beyond a textbook and degree.
Through membership, students and new professionals can learn and experience social work at the national, state, and local levels—NASW membership includes both national and chapter memberships.
COVID-19 & Racial Justice: We’re Here for You
NASW has been working jointly with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) to develop creative and flexible solutions to manage disruptions in licensure and education. NASW is working hard to ensure policy changes that help and protect social workers and social work students during the pandemic, including advocating for permanent telehealth flexibility, license portability, PPE and hazard pay, and widespread economic relief. NASW is also leading community efforts to advocate for antiracist policies, reimagine public safety, and expand social care and mental health funding.
Racial Justice Resources
- Racial Equity Resources
Find resources that can assist all social workers in their anti-racist efforts.
- Racial Justice Training
Access recordings of NASW’s June 2020 Town Hall—The Other Pandemic: Racial Injustice, and the June 2020 Virtual U.S. Congressional Briefing: Black Lives Matter: Social Work and the Future of Policing. Register for live events and discussions and on-demand webinars.
We need you as an NASW member to continue this work. Thank you!
Top Reasons Students and New Professionals Join NASW
NASW membership helps social work students and new professionals every day. Members have access to resources that complement their studies, further their learning, and prepare them for professional life.
#1: Learn What You Don't Learn in School
NASW membership takes learning beyond the classroom and provides students and new professionals with resources experienced social workers use every day to help them be the best social workers possible and to help people solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives. Students and new professionals who join NASW have access to the insights, best practices, and knowledge of established social workers. Most of these resources are free or discounted for students.
Back your thesis with evidence-based research found at NASW’s online Research Library
. Members have unlimited access to databases from leading research institutions, think tanks, and advocacy organizations.
Examine current social problems and evaluate new techniques and research. Membership includes a free online subscription to
. Members also receive discounted subscription rates on NASW's specialty journals
, which provide articles on innovations in practice, interdisciplinary efforts, research, program evaluation, policy, and planning.
NASW's award-winning magazine, Social Work Advocates
, carries in-depth feature articles about social work trends and issues. Membership includes online access. Visit the Social Work Advocates archives
to catch up on issues you missed prior to joining as an NASW member
Hear from experts on topics that social workers care about. Self-care and PPE, social distancing and mental health, violence, bullying, LGBTQ support, social media and video games, immigration, social work salaries – the topics go on and on.
Prepare for your future private solo or group practice by familiarizing yourself with issues and updates affecting clinical social work practice in these settings. "An Hour With Private Practice" is a free, members-only question-and-answer session held every other month on selected topics. Just dial-in to join each session.
NASW's Social Work Online CE Institute offers members hundreds of courses on a variety of topics—at discounted rates or free of charge. Take your learning beyond the classroom and your degree with webinars, webcasts, podcasts, and presentations on topics affecting today's social workers.
#2: Belong to a Community of Social Workers That Looks Out for You
NASW membership includes membership in your state NASW chapter, at no additional cost. This dual membership gives you that much-needed connection to social work where you live or study. Meet other students and new professionals at chapter-run events.
The MyNASW online member community is a fast way to connect with social work students and practicing social workers across the country. Join or start a discussion, ask questions, find mentors, and more. Search discussions on supervision and licensing exam preparation as you transition from student to new professional.
Specialty Practice Sections
Focus your learning by joining an NASW Specialty Practice Section (SPS). SPS tailors resources, information, and education to meet the needs of social workers in 11 practice areas. As an added bonus, SPS members can participate in their corresponding MyNASW subcommunity, at no extra charge:
- Children, Youth, and Schools, which is exclusively for members of the School Social Work; Child Welfare; and Children, Adolescents & Young Adults Specialty Practice Sections.
- Clinical Social Work, Aging, and Health, which is exclusively for members of the Aging; Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs; Health; Mental Health; and Private Practice Specialty Practice Sections.
- Social Justice, Administration, and Courts, which is exclusively for members of the Administration/Supervision, Social and Economic Justice & Peace, and Social Work and the Courts Specialty Practice Sections.
#3 Prepare for Professional Life
NASW helps students prepare for and new professionals advance in their careers in social work. NASW membership opens doors for establishing satisfying and successful careers in social work.
Well before graduation, students across the country check in with the NASW Career Center to explore the many career paths in social work and to get job outlook information. Students and new professionals find career tips and learn how to stand out among other candidates applying for the same jobs and internships. And when it's time to search job openings, NASW members can search social work positions in NASW's JobLink database, receive job-opening alerts, and upload their resumes to a candidate database for employers.
Professionalize your undergraduate experience. Grow your career. Members who want to demonstrate a professional commitment to the profession to employers; develop leadership, teamwork, and communications skills; and open career doors volunteer at the NASW national and chapter levels. Volunteer for committees and task forces, write for your chapter's newsletter, help plan events, and more. Meet student and practicing members on the NASW national board of directors and chapter boards of directors.
#4: Take Action
Members roar as one through advocacy organized at the NASW national and chapter levels.
NASW national’s Advocacy listserv
keeps members current on legislation in Washington, DC, and in their own state capitols. In seconds members can add their names to prewritten e-communications to politicians to advance legislation that supports our profession, our clients, and our communities, or to stop or change harmful legislation. Sign up for legislative alerts
Visit your state capitol with your NASW chapter and hear from your state legislators. Learn about your chapter’s advocacy efforts and get insights into issues facing people in your state. See how policy is created.
NASW provides voter participation training and has been working with allied organizations such as Rock the Vote, Young Invincibles, and the Brennan Center for Justice to eliminate barriers to voter registration and turnout, build young people’s political power, protect voting rights, and shield the voting process from hacks and breakdowns.
#5: Get Help With Education Costs
From tuition to books, education costs can add up and take years to pay off. Through NASW membership, members have access to resources to help them with those costs and student loan management.
The NASW Foundation hosts scholarships and doctoral fellowships established to assist students pursuing a variety of social work specialties. Apply for fellowships in health care and scholarships involving work with African American communities and with American Indian and Latino populations. Check eligibility and apply at naswfoundation.org.
NASW connects you to student loan management tools and resources. Compare and enroll in a student loan repayment program that is best for you.
Save on Next Year’s Dues
At NASW, we understand the cost of a social work education. That's why we discount student member dues by up to 75% off regular dues. To keep your discounted student rate, simply renew by your Membership Renewal Date. Renew on time during your student years and we'll continue discounted dues for you the first years after you graduate so long as you maintain continuous NASW membership throughout.
#6: Access Dedicated Support
Ethics and Legal Consultations
NASW members facing ethical dilemmas related to their fieldwork practicum and social work-related legal issues can talk privately with NASW ethics and legal staff. These are free services that are highly valued by our members.
NASW's legal teams also provide self-serve resources to help uncover ethics considerations, apply the profession's Code of Ethics appropriately, and understand the social work perspective in legal matters.
When you join NASW, you help ensure that there’s a dedicated practice expert at the national level who advocates for you and for the populations and communities you want to serve. Our practice experts work to get you practice tools that discuss and make recommendations about today's social work challenges and successes and help prepare you for and advance in your professional social work career.
#7: Protect Yourself From Complaints and Lawsuits
As you approach field practice assigned by your school of social work, make sure that you obtain the comprehensive field placement malpractice coverage offered by the NASW Risk Retention Group. Whether you are in the beginning of your social work education or are pursuing an advanced degree, individual coverage is a critical start to your professional advocacy and risk management plan. NASW Assurance Services (ASI) offers malpractice insurance (also called professional liability insurance) created for social work students. ASI has drawn on its experience in protecting members to greatly enhance its coverage and provide you with broader protection.
ASI sponsors free risk-management educational workshops, co-sponsored by NASW chapters and other hosts. These workshops cover social work malpractice issues, such as the extent of personal and organizational liability and recommended strategies for reducing your exposure to a social work malpractice suit.