— Heidi Sfiligoj, News Staff
March is National Professional Social Work Month. This year's theme, "Social Work: Purpose and Possibility," focuses on the future of social work and the need to recruit more social workers into the profession.
NASW's goals for Social Work Month are to recruit more social workers to the profession; expand the public perception of the breadth and depth of social work; reach out to national and local media to promote the importance of social work services and social work professionals to society; and promote a theme that builds pride among social workers.
It is also NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark's goal to have 5,000 social workers volunteer for Give an Hour by the end of Social Work Month. Give an Hour is a national nonprofit grass roots organization with the goal of creating a national network of licensed mental health professionals who can offer free mental health services to military personnel and their families. NASW announced its endorsement of the program last year.
"It is an incredibly important cause and a great way for social workers to continue in their tradition of giving back to the community," Clark said.
To promote Social Work Month, NASW created a Web-based application, "50 Ways to Use Your Social Work Degree," that provides people with information about the social work profession. During March, NASW will team up with social work programs and schools in an effort to encourage more people to pursue social work degrees.
NASW has developed a media and community outreach toolkit for chapters, schools and members to use in promoting Social Work Month. The toolkit can be found online.
NASW has designed merchandise for social work month, including tote bags, a set of three green grocery bags enclosed in a black bag, sport bottles, ceramic mugs, recycled journals with pens, posters, buttons, magnets and T-shirts. The merchandise ranges from $2 to $20 and is available for purchase online.