In March we join the National Association of Social Workers in honoring our social workers for all they do in our communities. This year’s theme—Social Work Breaks Barriers—highlights the role social workers play in breaking down obstacles to care.
What Is Social Work?
Although there are many kinds of social work, social workers share some common principles. They are people dedicated to seeking complete equality and social justice for all communities and helping people achieve their own potential.
Each day social workers help break down barriers that prevent people from living more fulfilling, enriched lives. They work with individuals, helping people in crisis overcome obstacles like food insecurity, lack of affordable housing, or limited access to good health care.
How Do Social Workers Strengthen Communities?
Social workers perform so many important functions within our communities, it’s hard to list them all. Each day they are on the front lines, addressing issues that range from providing community mental health care, addressing economic hurdles, challenging bias and inequality, protecting vulnerable populations, and more.
Here are just a few ways that social workers break barriers and improve communities…
- Helping families to overcome cultural and faith biases that prevent them from supporting LGBTQIA youth
- Helping families break through economic and psychological barriers to provide better care for their children
- Helping remove obstacles that keep people from exercising their right to vote
- Helping provide support for families of the incarcerated
- Helping establish and maintain community resources such as food banks
Social workers also work to improve life for our nation’s veterans.
- They assist vets who are struggling with substance abuse issues
- They help vets transitioning out of homelessness to permanent housing
- They help at-risk vets to become engaged within their communities
Did you know it was the tireless efforts of social workers that led to the establishment of many institutions we count on today? Without social workers we’d have no 40-hour work week, no minimum hourly wage, and no Social Security benefits.
Public Approval & Awareness
Social workers transform lives on a daily basis. A recent survey by Ipsos and sponsored by the National Association of Social Work showed that…
- 80% of people have an overall favorable view of social workers and
- 81% of people who’d interacted with a social worker said that the social worker had made a positive impact on their lives.
When it comes to public awareness of the scope of social work, there remains room for improvement. For example, only 34% of those surveyed knew that social workers played a key role in the creation of public safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare, and only 28% were aware that social workers played vital roles in the civil rights movement.
While 86% of respondents said they are aware that social workers assist in social services and child welfare, 65% said they know social workers practice in mental health care settings, 46% know that they play roles in community advocacy, and only 30% know social workers also assist with financial services and support.
There are currently about 700,000 social workers in the U.S., and they’re grappling with issues that range from youth services and family care, to the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic issues in care delivery, and social issues including poverty, racism, and income inequality. They need our help and support.
Help Us Celebrate Social Work Month!
Want to get involved? It’s easy to celebrate on social media…
- Go to your favorite social media site (Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram) and share how you or your family have been helped by a social worker
- Or if you’re a social worker, share some content that highlights the important work you do in your community
- Share links to thought leadership articles on social work to boost public awareness
- Create fun videos and images that illustrate the many important roles social workers fill
- Share the hashtags: #SWMonth2023 #SocialWorkBreaksBarriers
At Key Assets Kentucky, we understand the importance of community. That’s why we enthusiastically support our social workers and celebrate them for all the hard work they do. Our professional and courteous staff is here to help when a medical or mental health emergency affects you or a loved one. We’ll deliver qualified and compassionate care in a community setting not far from home.
Have questions? Give us a call. We’re here to help.