Mar. 1, 2019
Chris Woodley • firstname.lastname@example.org
Today is the start of National Professional Social Work Month. The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is helping lead this year’s Social Work Month celebration with a campaign centered around the theme, “Elevate Social Work!”
“The value of social workers in society is being realized as evidence accrues that social factors underlie many of the problems that face our nation today,” said College of Social Work Dean Sarah Gehlert.
This year’s campaign will inform the public and legislators about the crucial role social workers have played in improving society and empowering individuals for more than a century. For example, Social Worker of the Year Kimber Nicoletti-Martinez founded an organization to mobilize farm workers and low-wage immigrant communities in Indiana, California, Pennsylvania and Arizona to prevent child sex abuse. 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 programs.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work continues to be one of the fastest growing careers in the nation. More than 100,000 people are expected to enter the field in the next seven years. There are currently an estimated 682,000 social workers across the country in locations such as schools and clinics. Social workers in hospitals and mental health centers help people recover, while others in federal, state and local government advocate for legislation and regulations to improve the quality of life. In addition, social workers account for the largest group of mental health service providers in the country, and the Veterans Administration is the largest employer of social workers with a master’s degree.
During National Social Work Month, the College of Social Work will feature a social media campaign featuring Bachelor of Social Work, Master of Social Work, and Ph.D. students, and alumni on why they decided to study and pursue a social work career. Please follow our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to read their perspectives.