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NASW launches Social Work Month 2016

This year’s theme is “Forging Solutions out of Challenges”

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and its state chapters are honoring National Social Work Month in March with the theme “Forging Solutions out of Challenges” and activities that celebrate the profession, including state conferences and social events, an editorial letter writing campaign, official proclamations, a multimedia contest, and opportunities for social workers to host movie screening events around the nation.

The more than 600,000 social workers in the United States serve more than 10 million clients a day, helping to improve the well-being of others. They work in all areas of society, including schools, hospitals, veterans’ centers, and in private practices and family service agencies.

“Social workers take on some of the most serious and complex issues facing society –poverty, mental illness, voting rights, racism, and child welfare -- and work with individuals, families, communities and government to create positive solutions,” NASW CEO Angelo McClain, Ph.D., LICSW said. “NASW and its chapters want to help the nation celebrate these accomplishments during National Social Work Month.”

NASW created an online toolkit at that lists its Social Work Month-related activities. These include:

  • Letter Writing/Op-Ed Campaign: Social workers and their allies will write letters to the news media throughout March in support of the profession.
  • Movie Screenings, Mental Health Film Offerings: NASW has partnered with GATHR Films to offer screening opportunities at local movie theaters. Visit their website ( for more information. NASW has also partnered with The Video Project to offer free online previews of four highly-rated films on mental health and wellness for the month of March to NASW members.
  • Proclamations: Cities, counties and states around the United States will release official National Social Work Month proclamations throughout March.
  • Multimedia Contest: This contest allows social workers and their allies to use short video clips, photos, performance poetry and audio to show how social workers demonstrate the theme “Forging Solutions out of Challenges.”
  • NASW Code of Ethics 55th Anniversary Contest: NASW’s Code of Ethics has guided the professional conduct of social workers for 55 years. To honor this anniversary NASW is sponsoring an essay contest. Social workers can write about how the Code of Ethics has made a positive contribution to their career.
  • NASW 5th Annual Media Awards: NASW media awards honor reporters, filmmakers, TV programs and others that portray social workers and issues important to the profession in a positive way.

NASW Chapters are also hosting Social Work Month-related events:


The NASW Arkansas Chapter is holding its annual conference March 30-April 1 in North Little Rock. For more information:


The NASW California Chapter is hosting a California State Legislation Social Work Month reception on March 14. Check for more information.


The NASW Delaware Chapter will hold a conference entitled “Solving Problems Through Interdisciplinary Problem Analysis, Partnerships and Effective Practice” on March 15 at Wilmington University in Dover. The conference will examine problems seriously impacting individuals, families and communities from the perspectives of social work, social policy, and social science. For more information:


The NASW Chapter Guam Chapter will host its annual conference on March 16-17 in Tumon, Guam that will feature media interviews and a “Thank a Social Worker” Wave. The theme of the Guam conference is “Holistic Transformation for a Healthy Micronesia.” For more information:


The NASW Louisiana Chapter will hold its state conference March 16-18 in Baton Rouge. NASW President Darrell Wheeler, Ph.D., ACSW, MPH will be the keynote speaker. For more information:


The NASW Massachusetts Chapter’s Annual Legislative Education and Advocacy Day at the State House is Monday, March 28. For more information:


The NASW Nevada Chapter is holding its 2nd Annual Black Tie Awards Gala on March 12. For more information:


The NASW New Hampshire Chapter will hold its Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation on March 25 in Concord. In the afternoon the chapter will have a training session, “Suicide Prevention: Clinical and Ethical Considerations,” with Mark Gianino Ph.D., MSW, clinical associate professor at Boston University School of Social Work. For more information:


The NASW New York City Chapter will host a conference, “Social Work in the City: Building a Progressive Agenda and Striving for a Better Life for All New Yorkers,” on March 14. For more information:


The NASW North Carolina Chapter is holding an event, “The Ethics of Self-Care: Recognizing and Responding to the Personal Cost of Our Profession,” on March 29 in Raleigh. For more information:


The NASW Ohio Chapter is offering a series of online continuing education courses, a Science of Social Work Regional Conference on March 5; a Cuyahoga County Conference on Social Welfare on March 11; A Social Work “Celebrate. Network. Mingle” event in Columbus on March 18; a film screening on March 19; and an advocacy day in Columbus on March 31. For more information:


The NASW Oklahoma Chapter is holding their 40th Annual State Conference at Embassy Suites, Norman, OK on March 3-5. NASW CEO Angelo McClain is the keynote speaker on March 4. For more information:


The NASW Rhode Island Chapter and NASW Assurance Services Inc. will hold the workshop “Ethics and Risk Management in the New Era of Social Work” on March 18. The chapter’s Annual Social Work Legislative Day at the State House is usually held during Social Work Month but has been moved to April 13 due to a room scheduling conflict. For more information:


The NASW South Carolina Chapter is hosting a Spring Symposium on March 21-23 in Columbia that will focus on trauma the state has experienced in the past year, including the mass shooting at Emmanuel AME Church, flooding and police violence. For more information:


The NASW South Dakota Chapter will hold its annual conference March 17-18 in Sioux Falls. Dr. David Greenfield, founder of The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction, will be the keynote speaker. For more information:


The NASW Tennessee Chapter will hold its annual Social Work Day on the Hill in Nashville on March 30. The event attracts hundreds of students, faculty and professional social workers from across the state. For more information:


The NASW Utah Chapter is hosting its annual Tom Mulder Memorial Lunch and Lecture on March 17. This three-hour lecture focuses on LGBTQ issues relevant to social work practice and includes a networking lunch. For more information:

To find some of the leading minds in social work for interviews during Social Work Month visit NASW's 1,000 Experts Campaign.

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The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington D.C., is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with 130,000 members. It promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work and social workers. NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families, and communities through its advocacy.