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Social Work Profession Recruits New Students During National Social Work Month


New Web Site Highlights “50 Ways to Use Your Social Work Degree”

Washington D. C. - The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has kicked off its annual Social Work Month celebration with an outreach effort aimed at educating prospective and returning college students about the great purpose and countless possibilities of the social work profession.

To improve public awareness and understanding of social work careers, NASW has developed an interactive microsite at www.50ways.helpstartshere.org. The site showcases more than 50 different ways that social workers are using their degrees from the nation’s 600 schools and programs of social work to make life better for individuals, families and communities.

Through individual profiles of social workers employed everywhere from schools, hospitals, and private businesses to government and non-profit agencies, foundations and the U.S. Congress, the site explores what experiences and interests led each person to the profession.

“People who are looking for a career with meaning, action, diversity, satisfaction, and an abundance of options are often drawn to social work,” says Elizabeth Clark, Ph.D., ACSW, MPH, executive director of NASW. “Social workers are highly trained professionals who care about people, who want to make things better, who want to relieve suffering, who want their work to make a difference.”

The 2009 Social Work Month theme—Social Work: Purpose and Possibility—highlights the special characteristics of those who choose social work as a profession, and underscores the goals of their work. Social workers are purpose-driven, compassionate individuals who work in collaboration with other disciplines to help the most vulnerable in our society overcome obstacles and reach their full potential.

“Having a social work degree helps me be part of the largest profession of mental health care providers. It helped me found the Baltimore Psychotherapy Institute. It helped me achieve faculty appointments at Johns Hopkins, Smith and University of Maryland in order to pass [my knowledge] on,” says Dan Buccino, clinical supervisor at the John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Community Psychiatric program and a social worker profiled on the site.

“I love knowing that my work has a positive impact on the lives of others. I also love the flexibility of the profession. As the mother of three children, I've appreciated the control I have over my schedule and have chosen to work part-time,” notes Judith Matz, Director of the Chicago Center for Overcoming Overeating, Inc., also profiled on the site.

“There is so much that I love about this profession. It is so inspiring to see people heal and find joy despite great adversity. I love collaborating with, inspiring, empowering and motivating clients, students, and co-workers to make positive changes,” says Heidi Horsley, executive director and co-founder of the Open to Hope Foundation in New York, when asked what she likes most about being a social worker.

For more information about the recruitment campaign or to learn more about the many ways social workers help, visit http://50ways.helpstartshere.org.

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

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