Members urged to celebrate, advocate for the profession

resilience weaving adcocacySponsorship ads will air on NPR during March, and will reach an audience of more than 20 million, said Gail Woods Waller, NASW’s communications director. The promotion of Social Work Month will specifically be heard on the shows “All Things Considered,” “The Diane Rehm Show,” and “Morning Edition.”

A Social Work Month toolkit offers a list of 100 ideas for members to use to get the word out. With more than 650,000 social workers in the U.S., reaching out to non-social workers during March is a way for members to network, collaborate and meet new colleagues, Waller said.

NASW staff has also drafted a proclamation on Social Work Month that will be introduced in Congress this month, she said. Representatives in both parties will read the proclamation in order to continue support of the goals and ideals of Professional Social Work Month and World Social Work Day, which is March 19 this year.

NASW is also an official partner of the social work documentary “American Winter,” which is about the 211 emergency help system in the United States. HBO will air the documentary on March 18.

“American Winter is a new film from filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz, makers of HBO’s award-winning documentary series ‘Taxicab Confessions,’” said Greg Wright, NASW senior communications and public relations specialist. “The film looks at families in Portland, Ore., who are struggling to survive economically and emotionally in the aftermath of the Great Recession. The film features footage of 211 call lines, which families in dire straits can call to get food, rent or other assistance. These call lines are often manned or supervised by social workers.”

For those who would like to put their multimedia skills to the test, the NASW Foundation is offering a Social Work Month video contest with cash prizes for members. Social workers who are interested in participating will need to develop a short video segment that promotes some aspect of the social work profession.

“NASW’s public education campaign has always been about telling the social work story in fresh ways,” said NASW Foundation Director Robert Arnold. “Video can often communicate what written words alone cannot. This contest is an opportunity for creative and talented people across the country to help us showcase the positive impact social workers have on individuals, families and communities.”

Members are also encouraged to check with their local chapters for Social Work Month activities and events.

NASW Chapters Celebrate

Throughout March, social workers across the nation will hold activities to recognize and advocate for the social work profession. Here is what some of NASW’s chapters are doing this month:

  • Arizona — NASW-Arizona will host a few branch-level events, including a breakfast and awards celebration in Phoenix.
  • Kentucky — In collaboration with the Kentucky Society for Clinical Social Work, the chapter will host a social work rally and reception to recognize social workers in public office. As part of the monthlong celebration, individual NASW-Kentucky branches will be honored with a social work proclamation signed by each area’s local mayor or county judge executive.
  • Massachusetts — The chapter will host a networking event for members and nonmembers to kick off Social Work Month. The chapter also will feature the Social Work Month 2013 logo on its website with the related NASW link. Chapter members are encouraged to use the logo as their Facebook profile picture during March to promote Social Work Month.
  • New York — The chapter will host its annual conference during Social Work Month, and a toolkit will be sent to social work employers in the state.
  • West Virginia —The chapter will host Social Work Day 2013 at the West Virginia Legislature on March 6. This will include opportunities for members and students to learn about, observe and participate in the legislative process.
  • Wisconsin — The South Central branch of the chapter, with the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Social Work, will host a clinical continuing education program followed by a reception during which the awards for distinguished social worker and public service will be announced.