March is National Social Work Month

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) sponsors National Social Work Month each March. This year's theme “Social Workers Stand Up” conveys what NASW and the social work profession have done over the past six decades to take a stand for causes that benefit society and individuals.

Social workers stand up for millions of people each day. They stand up by comforting people who are experiencing devastating illnesses and mental health crises, ensuring they get the best care while on the road to recovery. They stand up and support our brave military personnel, veterans and their families. They work in communities and with national, state and local government to provide services and pass legislation to stand with and help the most vulnerable. Child, family and school social workers stand up by protecting children who have been abused or neglected, helping children find new families through adoption, and ensuring young people reach their full academic and personal potential.

Social workers are trained to look at situations in a holistic way. They help people increase their ability to solve problems, to cope with stressors and to get needed resources. Social workers bring individuals together with other people and their communities to find solutions for problems that continue to plague our society, including hunger, lack of affordable housing, and equal rights for all. And social workers make organizations responsible to people through sound social policy.

Social workers have worked to improve the rights of women, African Americans and many other ethnic and minority groups. They have also pushed to strengthen the social safety net through programs such as Medicaid and Medicare, and advocated for social justice initiatives such as the Voting Rights Act and the Community Mental Health Act.

Social workers—more than any other profession—recognize that more must be done to address persistent social problems such as poverty, lack of education and health care access, and discrimination based on gender, race, sexuality, or income. And they know that all people, no matter their circumstance, at some time in their lives may need the expertise of a skilled social worker.

Positive social change is never complete. It’s a work in progress.

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