Stand Up for Social Workers in March

March is Social Work Month and recognizes the amazing work done by social workers. The social workers among us dedicate their lives to others. They work in our communities helping the impoverished, sick, and vulnerable. They provide support, comfort, and protection to those in their care. They serve our veterans, children, and people experiencing mental or physical illness. They calm those experiencing abuse and neglect, foster children, students, and so many others. This month is not just about recognizing the amazing work they do in our communities but standing up for the work they do so well.

What is a Social Worker?

Social workers fill many roles in our community. They are highly trained and educated professionals who earn a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level degrees. Additionally, professionals complete thousands of hours of supervised therapy for licensure across a spectrum of specialties. Some of the things they do include:

  • Help people gain the ability to function in society if they have challenges
  • Work with communities to support populations that are in need
  • Study and gather knowledge on human behavior, development, culture, and economics
  • Provide psychosocial services
  • Advocate on behalf of those in need
  • Help people overcome abuse, unemployment, educational problems, addiction, poverty, discrimination, physical illness, divorce, loss ,disability, and mental illness
  • Provide counseling to families, individuals, and communities to learn how to cope with stress
  • Intervene in crisis

ChildSavers’ Employs Social Workers

Our work cannot be done without social workers. Our highly trained staff focuses on trauma-informed therapy. Every day we witness the power of human connection in the work of our staff. They help children who have experienced abuse, neglect, or witnessed terrible things feel safe and supported. They help their clients reconnect to a world that so often has seemed frightening to them. Many times, the role of our staff is that of a confidant. For the children in their care, they become someone who does not judge and provides a safe space to tell a frightening story or work through troubling circumstances. We are fortunate as an agency to employ so many incredible social workers. Among them is Bob Nickles who took a moment to share why he is a social worker and what the work means to him.

Why I am a Social Worker – from Bob Nickles

Bob Nickles, LCSW

In 2007, I left a job at an international non-profit organization. I was stunned by how much I needed to learn and how much the organization needed to change. I knew graduate school loomed in my future. But, which program? Burnt out, I browsed admission websites with a jaded eye. What could possibly help me explain what I had seen, much less equip me to return to a helping profession? The effort seemed hopeless. Still, I felt a quiet thrill each time I investigated social work. Social workers worked toward justice – thrill! Social workers handled conflict directly and personally – thrill! Social workers believed in research that serves people, not people serving research – thrill!

Ten years, a master’s degree, and two state licenses later, my daily work brings me variety, fulfillment, and joy. Unique constellations of human behaviors, relationships, and institutions continue to expand in number every day, every hour. They carry deep dignity, humor, and sorrow. Social work has trained me to see proximity to people as an honor, to see the blessing in it.

Social work has also become a framework from which I can ask big questions: “how do people grow?” “Who benefits from oppression?” It also holds my smaller, but just-as-important concerns, “how will this family move forward?” “What will help this child begin to talk?” Each day, my office collects poignancy and delivers back that fullness each night, as I file the chaos neatly away.

I am a social worker, and I am glad to be here.

How You Can Participate in #SocialWorkersStandUp

If you know or work with a social worker, be sure to take a moment this month and thank them for what they do. Ask them about their work and listen to what they have to say. Share this blog post with friends and family to help them better understand the role of social workers in the community. If you are a social worker, share with your peers why you do the work you do. Tell them what it means to you and how it impacts the lives of others. SocialWorkers.org has some other wonderful ways you can participate in #SoicalWorkersStandUp.

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