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Social Work Month in March to put spotlight on vital role of social workers in improving our society

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is helping lead this year’s Social Work Month celebration in March with a campaign centered around the theme “Social Workers: Leaders. Advocates. Champions.” 

The campaign will inform the public and legislators about the crucial role social workers for generations have played in improving the well-being of people and helping our nation become a better place to live.  

For instance, social workers such as social reformer Jane Addams, former Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, and civil rights leaders Dorothy Height and Whitney Young have helped Americans secure voting rights, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and other important social programs. 

“Social workers make a positive impact on the lives of millions of Americans each day,” said Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, NASW’s chief executive officer. “Legislators such as social workers Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Rep. Barbara Lee of California help guide health care and mental health care legislation and other legislation through Congress that help the well-being of many.” 

“You also have social workers who work with individuals, families and communities improve their quality of life,” he said. “These include social workers such as John Cowart in North Carolina, who worked for years to provide services to veterans, and school social worker Rochelle Gauthier in New Orleans who has helped children affected by trauma get the best education they can.” 

Social work is a fast-growing profession with more than 680,000 social work professionals in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Clinical social workers are the largest group of mental health providers in the United States and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the biggest employers of masters-level social workers. 

 Social workers are trained to look at situations in a holistic way, helping bring together people and communities to find ways to address pressing individual, group and societal issues such as hunger, affordable housing, equal rights for all and making social institutions more responsive to people’s needs.   

Social workers also follow the NASW Code of Ethics, which calls on members of the profession to enhance human well-being and meet the basic needs of all people, with particular attention on the needs and empowerment of those who are vulnerable, oppressed or living in poverty. 

Here are some activities NASW is doing during Social Work Month to highlight the contributions of the social work profession.  

Social Work Month Online Toolkit: The toolkit offers social workers and their allies tools they can use to educate others about the positive impact of social workers. The toolkit includes an official proclamation that social workers can have their lawmakers distribute, downloadable logos, and a sample press release and letter to the editor. 

NASW Social Work Talks Podcast: NASW will launch a “Social Work Talks” podcast in March with the purpose of informing, educating and inspiring the social work community. The podcast will feature news about NASW policies, services and products and highlight influential social workers from around the nation. 

Television/Video Public Service Announcements: NASW has released two 30-second TV public service announcements that show how social workers help people overcome life’s challenges and highlight the achievements of the social work profession. Social workers and their allies can share the video on their social media channels or ask their local TV stations to air them. 

Social Media Thunderclap: NASW will host a social media Thunderclap on March 1 that will let thousands of social workers and their supporters around the nation and world share positive messages about the profession on the first day of Social Work Month.  

Media Awards: NASW will honor news and magazine articles, TV shows, films and other media that show how social workers are effective advocates, champions and leaders.  

Merchandise: Social Work Month merchandise will be used to promote the “Social Workers: Leaders. Advocates. Champions” theme. Jim Coleman LTD is our official vendor. 

“The services of social workers are needed now more than ever before as the nation grapples with issues such as income equality, the opioid addiction crisis, the environment and continued struggle for equal rights for all,” McClain said. “During Social Work Month we hope you will take time to learn more about the profession and support the work of social workers in improving the lives of individuals and families and our society.”

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers. 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.