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National Professional Social Worker's Month – March 2023

With National Professional Social Workers Month, which takes place every March, we can honor the social workers who help people and families work through their traumas and lead manageable lives. We want to make sure you read this and remember that someone out there, maybe the person on the bus with you, or the stranger standing behind you in the queue earlier today, is going through a difficult time and that no matter what it is, there is a light at the end of the tunnel if they seek help.

History of National Professional Social Worker's Month

People become social workers because they want to help others and make our society a better place for everyone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States, and the country currently has nearly 720,000 professional social workers. Social workers have brought about significant, positive changes in our country. Former Labor Secretary Frances Perkins and civil rights leaders Dorothy Height, Whitney Young, and Ida B. Wells have advocated for voting rights, equal rights, social security, unemployment insurance, and other programs.

Every day, social workers touch the lives of millions of people, and a social worker will likely help you, a family member, or a friend at some point. For example, do you want to improve your relationship with your spouse, partner, kids, or parents? A social worker can assist you in making stronger connections. Do you suffer from depression, anxiety, or substance abuse? A social worker can assist you in overcoming these obstacles. And as this country grapples with issues such as racism, economic uncertainty, deeply political and cultural divides, and natural disasters caused by global warming, social workers will continue to play an essential role in assisting people.

March is National Professional Social Workers Month, founded by the National Association of Social Workers in 2010 to honor the great profession of social work. Take some time to learn more about the profession’s many positive contributions, and do what you can to honor all the social workers you know.

National Professional Social Worker's Month timeline

1840s
A Force to be Reckoned With

Dorothea Lynde Dix, regarded as the founder of the Mental Health Movement, leads a crusade for social work that will change the way people with mental disorders are viewed and treated.

1955
Social Workers Coming Together

The National Association of Social Workers, the world's largest professional social worker membership organization, is established.

1963
The Mental Health Act

A time for progressive change in attitudes towards mental illness is ushered in following the passing of the Community Mental Health Centers Act.

2003
War Means Trauma

Social workers are deployed to NATO hospitals following the invasion of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan.

2010
An Annual Celebration

March officially becomes National Professional Social Workers Month, following campaigning by The National Association of Social Workers.

National Professional Social Worker's Month FAQs

Is social work a promising career?

Social work is a gratifying but emotionally taxing career option. Professionals enter challenging work environments to assist people facing complex challenges, and they frequently find themselves helping with crises such as mental health or abuse emergencies.

What is an example of a social worker?

Child welfare social workers, school social workers, and probation officers are a few examples. These individuals may also work in medical settings such as clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes. College or university social workers frequently provide emotional counseling, therapy, or career counseling.

Why do people become social workers?

Many social workers enter the field as a result of personal experiences. A high proportion of social workers have faced their own challenges, such as poverty, violence, and discrimination. They choose the field because they want to use their own experiences to improve the lives of others.

How to Observe National Professional Social Worker's Month

  1. Donate to a children’s home

    As a result of social workers intervening in many family situations where children are not being treated or raised in safe and healthy environments, there are many children's homes around the country, and they need help. Gather your family members or community members and take some non-perishable food, toys, and clothes to your nearest children’s home or charity.

  2. Thank the social workers in your community

    Social workers maintain the mental health of communities. It’s a big statement, but in truth, they ensure that community members are mentally stable and healthy, and they look out for women and children who are in danger. They provide an affordable service and, often free of charge, to help change people’s lives. So, we need to thank them.

  3. Encourage someone to speak up and seek counseling

    Everyone has a friend or a family member going through a lot or suffering from some mental health issues. Take the initiative and show them that you are there for them. Introduce them to someone that can help. By doing that, you are giving a social worker another client, and you are also helping someone better their emotional and mental state.

5 Interesting Facts About Social Workers

  1. They are here to make society better

    Social workers have the necessary education, experience, and dedication to assist people whenever and wherever they require it.

  2. Social workers are in very high demand

    Social workers make up 40% of the mental health professionals employed by the Red Cross Disaster Services Human Resources system.

  3. They are practically part of government

    More than 170 social workers hold national, state, and local elected office, including two United States senators and four United States representatives.

  4. Today, most industries and companies employ them

    Social workers can be found in hospitals, police departments, mental health clinics, military bases, and even corporations.

  5. Not in it for financial gain

    In the United States, as is the case in countries around the world, most social workers do not earn very high salaries and often have a second job as means of support.

Why National Professional Social Worker's Month is Important

  1. People are struggling, and help is needed

    Social workers have been around for years and have been essential to a functioning society for ages, which is why they are needed now more than ever. In the last year, we have been through a lot as a country and as humans with a pandemic, racial unrest reaching new heights, and distrust in politicians, which is why the importance of social workers should be honored on National Professional Social Workers Month.

  2. It puts the spotlight on those doing the work

    Indeed, most social workers do not get the recognition they deserve, and as the selfless people they are, they don’t go looking for it. That is why we need to make sure that more people observe National Professional Social Workers Month so that these courageous professionals can get the kudos they deserve. Simply thanking a social worker for helping a family member or neighbor can make a world of difference.

  3. It inspires young minds to follow suit

    Many young people looking to make a difference or an impact on the world and society often become drawn to jobs where they can work face to face and be hands-on with people and families. It is a great way to serve the community or your country, and the rewards you get out of it, as a result of how you helped someone and how that made you feel, are limitless.

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