Social workers will celebrate National Social Work Month in March 2015. At that time, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) will also begin an eight-month celebration of its 60th anniversary which will end in October, the month NASW was founded in 1955. The theme “Social Work Paves the Way for Change” was selected to convey what NASW and the social work profession have done over the past six decades to bring about positive changes in society and for individuals. Social workers have worked to improve the rights of women, African Americans and other ethnic minorities, and the LGBT community. They have also pushed to strengthen the social safety net through programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act, and advocated for social justice initiatives such as the Voting Rights Act and the Community Mental Health Act. 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. 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.