March is Social Work Month: Social Workers Are Essential

March is National Social Work Month and this year’s theme is “Social Workers are Essential.”

To get us started, we’re re-posting this theme and rationale from CSWE:


SOCIAL WORKERS ARE ESSENTIAL: Social workers are essential to community well-being. As practitioners, social workers are trained to help people address personal and systemic barriers to optimal living. They are employed to effect positive change with individuals, families, groups and entire communities. As a profession, social workers frequently use their collective power to pass laws and establish policies that give more people access to community services and benefits, improving the quality of life for everyone. Social work is the only helping profession which requires social justice advocacy as part of its professional code of ethics, and is therefore a large workforce mandated to advance the rights of the most vulnerable in society. For more than 120 years, the social work profession in the United States has helped bend the arc of justice, making our nation a more equitable and inclusive place.

ABOUT SOCIAL WORKERS: There are more than 700,000 professional social workers employed in the United States, and more than three million worldwide. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics continues to identify social work as one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. Other government sources report there are more clinically trained social workers providing mental health and behavioral health services than any other professional discipline in the nation. The nation needs more social workers as it continues to deal with entrenched problems that have stressed our society, including systemic racism, a global pandemic, and many other social issues. The United States is also experiencing one of its worst economic downturns since the Great Depression. Social workers are on the front lines, helping people overcome these crises. In fact, social workers are everywhere people need help navigating
tough life challenges. They contribute to interdisciplinary care teams in schools, hospitals, mental health centers, nonprofits, corporations, the military—and in local, state, and federal government. Many social work professionals also own private consultation practices.

Throughout U.S. history, social workers have:

  • Fought for civil and voting rights for people of color
  • Protested American intervention in wars
  • Achieved the minimum wage and safer workplaces for
  • poor people
  • Expanded reproductive and employment rights for
  • American women
  • Supported marriage and employment protections for
  • LGBT people
  • Advocated for immigrants seeking asylum
  • Pushed for sensible gun laws and anti-violence initiatives
  • Raised awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment
  • Fought for client privacy and mental health services

We want to take the opportunity to say THANK YOU to all the Social Workers out there! It is an honor to continue to educate and train individuals to work in the profession. We will continue to spotlight how essential social workers are through this month and beyond. Stay tuned!

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