There’s never a dull moment for social workers in Arizona, according to Jeremy Arp, the state’s recently hired NASW chapter executive director, who started work in January.
“Arizona social workers work in a variety of settings, serving diverse populations,” Arp said. “The state may be expansive geographically, but it is still possible to witness the positive impact that social workers as individuals can have on everyone here.”
Arp is one of several chapter executive directors hired in recent months that the NASW News is profiling in an ongoing series.
Arp said he first became interested in becoming a social worker when he spent a short time working for a hospice organization.
“I was inspired by the social worker’s provision of skillful assistance to help families through the toughest of times,” he said. “As a direct result, I attended Arizona State University with the intention of becoming a hospice social worker.”
While in college, Arp became more familiar with policy practice through undergraduate internships at the state legislature and with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
Prior to his job with NASW, Arp was senior program administrator for the Governor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families, Division for Women, where he managed the development and implementation of internal planning related to program administration, operation and workflow.
Arp said he applied for the chapter executive director position because it aligned with his passion for public policy and advocacy and his desire to see the state’s social workers do their best.
Besides devoting his attention to recruiting and retaining members, Arp said he wants to make sure social workers know that NASW is available as a resource beginning early in their career.
“I hope to increase our presence on campuses, beginning at the community college level and continuing to Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University,” he said. “I hope to continue the current trajectory regarding our use of technology to reach potential and existing membership across the state.”
He said he wants the chapter to branch out and encourage mentorship of new social workers by seasoned expert members through social events.
Arp received BSW and MSW degrees from Arizona State University and he now teaches social policy and services and a course called “Arizona/National Government: A Social Work Perspective” at the university.
As a social work leader and educator, his outlook for the profession remains strong.
“Current social workers should remain confident,” he said, “that the next generation will preserve and support the profession as we move forward in the future.”
Visit NASW’s Arizona Chapter.