National Social Work Month – March 2020

March

National Social Work Month, observed throughout March, uplifts the social workers of our country and celebrates their constant contributions to our society. These professionals use psychology and sociology to solve social issues and improve individual lives – and it’s no easy feat! Social work can be emotionally draining, require long hours, and pay entirely too little, yet still, these superhumans strive every day to improve many people’s quality of life and advocate on their behalf. Take some time out this month to recognize social workers and the great things they do.

History of National Social Work Month

Though social work has not always been a formal profession, some practice of it has long been in place in the form of charity work. However, the profession is quite scientific and recent, originating in 19th century England and spurred to existence by the Industrial Revolution. It is based on casework, social administration/poverty relief, and social action. Overall, it’s an exciting interdisciplinary profession that requires a background in psychology and sociology.

Originally, National Professional Social Work Month was introduced by the National Association of Social Workers in 1963 – over 50 years ago. They aimed targeted ad campaigns on television at the public to encourage public support and to generate interest in the profession of social work. It was hugely successful in its beginning, earning over 35,000 letters of support.

In 1984, the United States Government formally recognized National Social Work Month in March. It was introduced by Democratic Senators and was co-sponsored by a Republican. Ronald Regan then signed it into law, and the rest is history.

Something that makes National Social Work month extra fun is the yearly themes. Each year’s theme is based on a social issue that NASW wants to bring to light. Some of the biggest past themes include HIV/AIDS, children in poverty, racial and ethnic harmony, and aging parents. The very first NSWM was themed “Listen To The Children.” These campaigns make every National Social Work Month more educational.

A single social worker can influence an entire life and generations of them have shaped all of us. The legacy of social work includes so many wonderful aspects of the society we live in, which, if you ask us, definitely deserves a celebration.

National Social Work Month timeline

2012
The Case for Social Work

Since 2012, the NASW has been choosing themes for National Social Work Month to “make the case” for the profession. For example, the theme in 2012 was “Social Work Matters.

2005
Launching Learning

The National Social Work Public Education Campaign was launched in 2005, beginning the multi-year effort to promote the profession to the public, as well as improve their overall perception of it.

1998
A Century of Social Change

In 1998, the social work profession celebrated its centennial year of existence here, and the NASW marked the year by changing its NSWM themes to promote the profession by showing who social workers are. The 1994 theme was “Stop the Violence with Justice For All.”

1984
White House Recognition

National Social Work Month was officially born in 1984 when the White House recognized March as the month to celebrate these everyday heroes.

National Social Work Month FAQs

Where can I donate in honor of National Social Work Month?

Some of the most impactful organizations to donate to if you aim to support social workers include The National Social Work Association, The Social Work Disaster Assistance Fund, and The Society for Social Work Leadership.

What day is National Social Workers Day

National Social Workers Day is celebrated on the third Tuesday in March.

Where is National Social Work Month observed?

 

The United States.

How to Celebrate National Social Workers Month

  1. Promote social workers on social media

    The National Association of Social Workers provides a handy social media toolkit on their website describing how best to honor these heroes! From Gen Z through the Silent Generation, they’re hoping to blanket social media with the hashtags #socialworkers, #SWGenerationsStrong, #SWMonth, and more. Tag a social worker you know to honor them, or post a picture of your social workers party!

  2. Thank a social worker you know

    There are more than 680,000 social workers in the United States - the odds are you know someone who does social work. Honor them with a pop-up party, a thoughtful note or gift, a post on social media, or some nifty social work merchandise! Let them know you’re proud of the vital work that they do.

  3. Donate to a social work organization!

    It’s no secret that social workers are in their role for the outcome, not the income. The average salary for social workers is less than $50,000/year, and there are several essential organizations that support them and help them make ends meet. Some of these include The National Social Work Association and The Social Work Disaster Assistance Fund.

5 Facts About Social Workers And National Social Work Month

  1. Lifelong Work

    Social Workers attend to people in need at every stage of life - from childhood adoptions to end-of-life care.

  2. Champions of Mental Health

    According to the government, over 60% of mental health services are delivered by licensed social workers.

  3. Social Work Leadership

    Four members of the House of Representatives and two US Senators are social workers - and over 170 total hold elected office at a national, local, and state leve

  4. All Over the Map

    Social workers are employed by veterans’ associations, in hospitals, mental health clinics, and more - even in corporations.

  5. More Social Workers Needed!

    It is projected that the number of social workers needed will grow 16% from 2016 to 2026, which is far more than the average. If you are interested in social work, look up a program to get certified!

Why We Love National Social Work Month

  1. Social Workers need some R&R

    Arguably few people work harder than social workers. They don’t have standard 9-5 workdays, but rather go where and when they are needed to support those in need. This month, let’s help social workers feel more celebrated and cared for - they need the relaxation as they continue to tirelessly serve our communities.

  2. They are inspirational

    Social workers change lives. From helping someone plagued with substance abuse or depression improve their mental health to helping place children in the right homes for adoption, your brush with a social worker might be one that sets your life on a totally different (better) trajectory. We all are inspired by the help they give us - we think they deserve a special month for that alone!

  3. We get the chance to show our appreciation!

    Social workers often deal with meager salaries and cut budgets. For all they do for those in need and our society at large, we’re lucky to get the month to celebrate them and acknowledge their contributions! This month is a great opportunity to donate and support social workers in our lives.

YearDateDay
2020March 1Sunday
2021March 1Monday
2022March 1Tuesday
2023March 1Wednesday
2024March 1Friday