Social Work Month begins

Social Work Matters logoIt’s March. That means it is National Professional Social Work Month and social workers everywhere are encouraged to spread the message of this year’s theme, “Social Work Matters.”

U.S. Rep. Edolphus “Ed” Towns, D-N.Y., will join the more than 60 members of Congressional Social Work Caucus on World Social Work Day, March 20, on Capitol Hill to celebrate the caucus’ first anniversary. Towns is chairman of the caucus, which includes all of the social workers who serve in Congress. Members continue their efforts to educate fellow legislators and their staffs about the issues that challenge the social work profession.

Just as members of the caucus do their part to spread the word about the power of social work, social workers themselves need to inform their neighbors, employers and lawmakers about their important roles in helping society.

Fortunately, the Social Work Month toolkit is at the ready to help social workers reinforce their claims that social work matters.

“Even though Social Work Month is celebrated each March, we wanted to give social workers a variety of material they can use all year long,” explained Gail Woods Waller, communications director at NASW. “We have assembled great information that will help social workers make the case for greater support throughout the year.”

This year’s Social Work Month toolkit focuses on eight core areas of social work practice: aging and family caregiving; health care navigation, child protection and family services; adolescent and youth development; military and veteran assistance; mental and behavioral health treatment; nonprofit management and community development; and poverty reduction.

Each section of the toolkit offers valuable information, including talking points, trends in social work, media coverage and research data. The kit also includes key messages and Social Work Month proclamation and news release templates.

“Social workers weave together the threads of society’s social safety net,” said NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark. “As the profession of hope, we help people overcome poverty, inequality, insecurity, fear, violence, trauma, loss and pain. What social workers do and how we do it does matter, and there’s no better time than Social Work Month to remind the world that human well-being is well worth the effort.”

Other National Professional Social Work Month events include:

  • The release of the new NASW Press book, “Social Work Matters: The Power of Linking Practice and Policy,” edited by Elizabeth Hoffler, special assistant to the NASW executive director, and Clark. It includes 40 chapters written by experts in the field. More information can be found at
  • Social Work Media Awards. NASW is asking for your votes for the best reporting and depictions of social work issues showcased by the media. Votes will be accepted through March on the best media representation of social work among 10 categories: websites; single topic blogs; newspaper/news; newspaper/columns; magazines; radio; TV/news; TV/shows (broadcast or online); film/commercial; and film/documentary. Winners will be announced at NASW’s Annual Leadership Meeting in April.
  • Clark and Hoffler will speak at the Association of Baccalaureate Program Directors of Schools of Social Work conference in Portland, Ore. this month. Their presentation will focus on the essential links between social work practice and policy. Also this month, Clark will present at the Institute for Community Living in Brooklyn, N.Y., on the role of social work in health care reform and at the 22nd annual National Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference in Las Vegas.
  • March 26 is annual Social Work Day at the United Nations. Students, practitioners and educators will convene at the U.N to celebrate the efforts of social workers around the world. NASW President Jeane Anastas will provide opening remarks and help present The Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development to the U.N. secretary general with Gary Bailey, IFSW president and past president of NASW.