Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

March 22, 2013

Social workers fill many positive roles in our society

I am writing to you in an effort to raise awareness about the depth of the social work profession in celebration of social work month 2013.

It’s no secret that this profession often falls victim to stereotypes that identify the social worker as a negative presence in the life of a family with children.

This is the last thing that social workers want. Their No. 1 one goal is to be a light in the lives of others by educating, counseling, and providing services.

I think it is important to point out that the profession of social work extends far beyond that of working only with families.

There are a variety of fields that those in the profession can practice in to make a difference in the lives of others.

In addition to child and family social workers who work to enhance the social and psychological well-being of children and their families through social services there are those in medical and public health fields.

These social workers practice in hospitals, nursing facilities, non-profit agencies, and local government agencies where they provide psychosocial support and outpatient services to clients.

Some social workers practice as administrators, planners, and policy makers who develop and implement programs to address social issues.

School social workers help children achieve academic and personal success, and geriatric social workers provide services to the elderly.

While each of these fields differ in their own ways, all of those who work within the field of social work hold values universal to the profession that include service, social justice, dignity and worth of the person, importance of human relationships, integrity, and competence.

Ultimately, I want others to know that social work is fueled by a passion for positive change in an individual, family, group, organization, or community.

The social worker takes on many roles that help empower his or her client to take the necessary steps to ensure a better life.

I think the National Association of Social Workers speaks for all of those who work in this profession when it says, “Who are social workers? We help.” I would encourage those who wish to learn more about the profession of social work to visit www.naswdc.org.

Abby Lancaster

Frostburg State University

Department of Social Work student

Westernport

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