Across the United States, in schools, hospitals, and mental health clinics, there are an estimated 682,000 active social workers working. These selfless individuals often work behind the scenes to empower and advocate for some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Since the 1960s, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has designated March as National Social Work Month as an avenue to recognize and pay tribute to social workers in the US.
The theme for this year’s month-long celebration is “Elevate Social Work,” to draw attention to the many contributions social workers make in our society. Our organization is proud of our social workers who are making a difference in communities throughout the country. We want to recognize all the work social workers do to help people in crisis, whether overcoming the loss of a loved one, struggling with addictions, homelessness, natural disasters, or other situations where they need someone to advocate for them.
Social workers can be found in schools, hospitals, government facilities, the military, corporations, and in health care or mental health settings. The profession of social work has also been at the forefront of social justice movements, advocating for equal rights for disenfranchised groups, the disabled, and persecuted ethnic, cultural or religious groups.
Be sure to take a moment and thank the social workers in your life for the work they do and express your appreciation. You can also participate in raising awareness about the social work profession by using the hashtags #ElevateSocialWork, #SocialWorkMonth, or #SWMonth on social media. The NASW has included a page full of sample social media posts that you can readily copy and paste, found here. Many NASW chapters across the country are planning recognition events. If you are able to attend any of the gatherings, be sure to snap a photo and post it with the @nasw tag on Twitter or @naswsocialworkers on Instagram.