Social Work Month 2009 Celebrates Purpose

— Lyn Stoesen, News Staff

Social Work: Purpose and PossibilityNational Professional Social Work Month in 2009 will promote the theme, focusing on recruiting new social workers to the profession: "Purpose and Possibility." To advance this message, NASW is developing a Web page that will offer "50 Ways to use Your Social Work Degree."

Social Work Month, held each March, is linked with NASW's National Social Work Public Education Campaign, explained public relations manager Allison Nadelhaft.

"This is the fifth year of the campaign and we are focusing on one of our overarching public education goals: recruit new social workers to the field," she said.

"People who become professional social workers believe there are no limits to human potential and possibility and use their talents to for an essential purpose, helping others create better lives for themselves and their families," Nadelhaft said.

The cornerstone of the Web page will be profiles of 50 social workers from a diverse range of career paths. In March, an online form will be posted to allow other social workers to add their profiles to the page. Some will be written profiles, while others will have more interactive elements, including blogs, interviews, or photo albums. In addition to the profiles, the page will offer information on social work areas of practice, quizzes to help guide people to a career in social work, and other recruitment tools. The page will be linked to NASW's Career Center site as well as the consumer Website,

"Our Social Work Month activities continue to be a part of the larger campaign goals," Nadelhaft said. In addition to the Web page, NASW is working with schools of social work to boost recruitment and to promote the profession.

As part of that effort, NASW will work with Crosby Marketing Communications to survey administrators, counselors, and communication development staff at schools of social work around the country.

"This survey will help us gather information on student questions, concerns, barriers and influences to pursuing social work degrees," Nadelhaft said. "We will also research career assessment sites and tools to make sure that social work is accurately presented."

NASW is creating a media and community outreach toolkit for chapters, schools, and members to use in promoting Social Work Month.

"Social Work Month is always a good opportunity for social workers across the country to take pride in their accomplishments, promote the profession to the public, and encourage others to become a part of this impressive workforce," Nadelhaft said. "We think the profile Webpage will be an exciting new tool that everyone can enjoy and promote."