Social Work License Map Celebrates Social Work Month!

Social Work Month

The nature of social work is private, quiet, and understated. As a result, the dynamic and life-changing efforts of social workers often go unrecognized. For this reason, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) created Social Work Month. Every March, Social Work Month turns the spotlight to all the in-the-trenches, tireless, incredible work that social workers do behind the scenes to improve the quality of life of all people every day, year-round. Here’s what you need to know about this.

What is Social Work Month?

Each year, Social Work Month is given a different theme to unify the discussion and focus public education initiatives. The 2014 theme, ‘All People Matter’, highlights social work’s commitment to the intrinsic value of each individual and the advances it has made throughout its 116 year-history toward increasing peoples’ access to opportunity and bettering societal conditions. Past themes have been ‘Weaving Threads of Resilience and Advocacy’ (2013), ‘Social Workers Change Futures’ (2011) and “Purpose and Possibility” (2009).

Throughout this month, social workers across the country celebrate the amazing work being done by their peers and participate in media and outreach efforts in order to share it with the public. The goal of Social Work Month campaigns is to encourage the public to recognize how essential social work is to empowering the individual with opportunities to lead satisfying and successful lives, and strengthening social support structures such as families and communities.

About the NASW

The NASW is the world’s largest professional membership organization of social workers and a central hub of policy, advocacy, research, and professional development in the social work field. The organization was founded in 1955 when seven organizations merged:

  1. American Association of Social Workers (AASW)
  2. American Association of Psychiatric Social Workers (the AAPSW)
  3. National Association of School Social Workers (NASSW)
  4. National Association of Medical Social Workers (AAMSW)
  5. American Association of Group Workers (AAGW)
  6. Association for the Study of Community Organization (ASCO)
  7. Social Work Research Group (SWRG)

Today, the organization is home to over 130,000 members and 55 local chapters for all 50 states, as well as New York City and Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands, and an International district. It is governed by a Delegate Assembly comprised of 277 elected delegates. Since its inception, the NASW has established itself as one of the most authoritative entities in the field. Its Code of Ethics stands as a touchstone of practitioner ethical standards and its website houses a large collection of internal and external educational resources for social workers, including publications, journals, and NASW WebEd. The NASW also runs the NASW Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the organization’s charity and education initiatives, and the organization even runs an insurance subsidiary for members.

How Can You Get Involved?

Whether you’re a social worker, a public educator, or an advocate, the NASW provides many tools to help you get the word out about the amazing social work being done in your community and beyond. An entire section of the NASW’s website is devoted to Social Work Month and contains a collection of outreach tools, including:

  • downloading and inserting the Social Work Month logo digital files onto your website
  • handing out expert postcards in aging, veterans, health, mental health, and child poverty
  • voting for media professionals who have NASW Media Awards 1000 Experts Campaign, a comprehensive searchable database of experts in various areas of social work, from Social Justice and Community to Mental Health and Relationships
  • nominate experts to be included by reaching out to the NASW at Proclamations

Help us at Social Work License Map celebrate National Social Work Month! Do you know any amazing social workers whose stories you’d like to share? Let us know via Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments!