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Social Work Month highlights how the profession benefits society

Social Work Month celebrates the importance of social workers

To honor the theme “Social workers are essential,” the School of Social Work asked professionals to provide an overview of the important roles social workers play, leadership in social work and the impact of COVID on the profession. social worker.

Steven Hammonds, MSS

Professionals such as Steven Hammonds, MSW, Director of Workforce Development at the Life Change Center explained that “social workers have a keen interest in considering multiple factors in the treatment of individuals, communities and the world. We are experts in taking biological, social, psychological, spiritual, cultural and environmental factors into account when working to make the world a better place for all. The lens through which we view the world is ethical, non-judgmental, empathetic, and culturally humble. Our training prepares us for multidisciplinary teamwork, and our level of critical analysis using practice-based research and research-based practice is essential in a variety of sectors ranging from nonprofit management, public policy and legislation, health care, criminal justice, CPS, mental health, addiction and the civil service. In almost all settings, it would be beneficial to have a social worker at the table. “

Rota Rosaschi, MPA, LSW and Executive Director of the Nevada Public Health Foundation has over 45 years of experience in social work and can see how COVID has forced social workers to approach their role differently. “The enormity of the pandemic is causing fear, uncertainty, social isolation, economic uncertainty and mental health issues. Social workers need to learn new ways to perform assessments without being allowed to enter homes and perform most interviews via a virtual environment or over the phone. They must learn new ways to identify issues such as domestic violence or child abuse without being able to interview the potential victim face to face to provide a sense of protection. It is an unprecedented time when most of the skills we have learned are tested to the fullest. “

It’s no surprise that the National Association of Social Workers judged this month’s theme “Social workers are essential” because it is something that many have achieved during the pandemic.

Current students have also been invited to contribute and explain how they plan to help tackle the COVID pandemic, but also the pandemic of systemic racism that has been further exposed by COVID. Student Andrea Cerrillo said the pandemic has caused us to face many truths.

Andrea Cerrillo in a blue blouse

“As a future social work graduate, I have to recognize what is going on in front of me right now. Being aware is the key and it paves the way for change. Upon graduation, I plan to use my conscience and spread it throughout my profession by educating and influencing all aspects of social work practice. It is like being involved in community organizing to provide assistance to those who have suffered from COVID-19 as well as community organizing to educate and advocate to end systematic racism. People need help and they want to be heard; this is my job NOW and in the future. Racism is alive and spreading as fast as our medical pandemic. My goal is to make sure that I am working to find a cure for the problems and the ones to come. “

One of the biggest issues social workers face is the lack of knowledge of what a social worker actually does. Social workers serve in all communities in a variety of capacities, including case managers, advocates, educators, facilitators, managers and brokers to name a few. It is often forgotten that social workers are the largest providers of mental health care in the United States.

Social workers play a vital role in helping people of all ages and at different stages of their lives. You can help celebrate and recognize Social Work Month by following the School of Social Work’s campaign on Facebook social work and Instagram social work and donate to help students continue to receive the tools and training necessary to enter the labor market.