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National Association of Social Workers Celebrates National Professional Social Work Month in March 2008


Washington, D.C. - Who in your life do you consider to have strengths?  The answer is simple – every person, family and community has strengths from which they can draw when times are difficult.  And social workers can help build upon those strengths.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) proudly announces National Social Work Month 2008.

This year’s theme – Building on Strengths: Help Starts Here – focuses on the important strengths inherent in each individual, family and community.  Understanding and utilizing these strengths are essential to improving the emotional health and well-being of society.

“The foundation for the growth and change in any individual, family or community is existing strengths,” says Elizabeth Clark, Ph.D., ACSW, MPH, executive director of NASW.  “Social workers are trained from the ‘strengths perspective,’ emphasizing the assets and resources available, and using those assets to reach their goals.”

Strengthening people and providing support are priorities of the social work profession.  Wherever there is a problem with an individual, family or community, social workers look for the inherent strengths that can be used as a starting point for further growth.

“The strengths perspective approach fosters hope by focusing on the positive, rather than on feelings of helplessness,” adds Dr. Clark.  “Individuals, families and communities can feel empowered by looking working with their strengths.”

Social Work Month also provides an opportunity for social workers to highlight the essential role they play in alleviating some of America’s most difficult problems.  Through education, training and dedication, social workers provide assistance in many different areas of practice including health, aging, mental health, child welfare, cancer, end of life, adolescent health, HIV/AIDS and family violence.

To find comprehensive information about the role of social work and where to go for assistance for these and other issues, visit www.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 with 150,000 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.

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