Mass shootings, attacks on human and civil rights, COVID surges, inflation, the war in Ukraine, racism, hunger, homelessness. These are just some of the tragedies and challenges we are facing today. Some of these societal issues have been around for a long time — and social work touches all of them in one way or another.
That’s why “The Time is Right for Social Work” — which is the theme of our
national conference taking place in June 2022 and also is the Social Work Month theme this year — is so fitting.
Because social workers are involved in addressing these pressing issues, we have been and will continue writing about them in the magazine.
In this issue, our cover story focuses on the wave on anti-LGBTQIA+ bills being passed or introduced in many states across the U.S. These attacks on human rights have some families fleeing their states, at least for now. Even if the laws aren’t passed, the message to the LGBTQIA+ community, and especially transgender kids, is that they are not accepted for who they are. But the legislation also is strengthening the resolve of the LGBTQIA+ community and those who support them, including NASW. See our LGBTQIA+ resource page.
Another challenge we are facing is the trauma from living through a global health pandemic—and it’s not yet over. In this issue’s second feature story, we examine the impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health and how social workers at all levels are part of the solution. One school social worker said she and her colleagues nationwide have seen mental health issues manifesting in different ways through extreme or intentional behaviors. Read "There is Help for Kids Impacted by COVID".
Somewhat related is the Viewpoints column, where NASW-Connecticut Executive Director Steve Wanczyk-Karp writes about the urgent need to support our mental health workforce. While social workers and other mental health providers are busy helping the rest of us cope, they are going through their own trauma. He applauds efforts to help future generations of mental health providers, but warns, “If we do not address the needs of the current mental health workforce, we will continue to lose clinicians.”
Many of these topics also will be discussed at our national conference, taking place June 22-25 in Washington, D.C. The event will be in person and virtual. Learn more about the NASW 2022 National Conference.
With the many challenges all of us face today — some more than others — the time is indeed right for social work.
Until next time,
Happy Pride Month!