March is Social Work Month

Happy National Social Worker Month! National Social Work Month was first organized in the 1960s, and officially recognized by the White House in 1984, as a great way to bring attention and give thanks to professional social workers. Today, nearly 700,000 provide social work support and services nationwide — the demand for social services has never been greater.

Each year, the National Association of Social Workers chooses a theme to highlight during March. This year, that theme is “The Time is Right for Social Work.”

As the Illinois Chapter of NASW recently explained in a blog post, “The time is always right for social work. However more people are entering the field because the life-affirming services that social  workers provide are needed more than ever. This is especially true as our nation continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism, economic inequality, global warming, and other crises.”

As a way to celebrate this year’s National Social Worker Month, we wanted to highlight some free resources that might be of interest. These resources are designed for prospective and current social work degree program students and include:

  • A Guide to Social Worker Code of Ethics: Ethics is a key component of the social work profession. This guide covers social work ethics, how ethics guide social workers’ behaviors and actions, and how professionals build their knowledge and skills around ethical dilemmas. In addition, state requirements for ethics training are covered, as is a discussion around how social work ethics apply to our now largely remote-working world. 
  • A Guide to Social Work Field Instruction: Field instruction is a critical part of a social work education. While traditional coursework gives you an idea of the types of situations you may encounter in your work, there is no substitute for practical real world experience. In field placements, students have the opportunity to put the skills they are learning into practice while receiving guidance from an experienced supervisor.
  • MSW Online: This is the gateway into a number of other degree, career, and professional resources all geared towards prospective social work students and early career professionals. In addition to free guides and resources, degree pages contain “ask an expert” profiles, which are short interviews with social work professions from around the country.