During, this time the National Association of Social Workers begins an eight-month celebration of its 60th anniversary which will end in October, the actual month the association was founded back in 1955.
The theme “Social Work Paves the Way for Change” was selected to convey what the association and the social work profession have done over the past six decades to bring about positive changes in society and for individuals.
Social work is the profession of hope-fueled by resilience and advocacy. Social workers matter because every day they help millions of struggling people dream differently. In the United States, more than 650,000 of these highly trained professionals know how daunting and immobilizing life’s tragedies and obstacles can be.
But they also witness the sheer determination of countless individuals and families to achieve different lives. Sometimes, all it takes to help people get on the right path is guidance toward what is possible. Other times, social workers are an immediate lifeline in crisis-providing access to resources and new life options.
Social workers have worked to improve the rights of numerous people and have advocated for social justice.
Those served by social workers possess much strength that keeps fighting for a better future despite personal and systemic barriers to success. They climb toward what is possible rather than simply accepting what the current situation may be. Professional social workers help combine these client strengths with effective personal and public advocacy.
Social workers also make a difference in the day-to-day lives of millions of Americans by helping to build, support and empower positive family and community relationships. For example, they work in schools helping students overcome obstacles to their education. They work in hospitals helping patients navigate their paths to recovery. And they work in agencies and organizations helping protect vulnerable children and adults from abuse and neglect.
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. They know that all people, no matter their circumstances, 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.