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Celebrating National Social Work Month 2021

national social work month logo

Every March, we celebrate National Social Work Month to highlight the outstanding contributions that social workers make to individuals, families and communities. We take time to recognize and applaud the work of our nation’s almost 700,000 social workers who help people overcome stigma and adversity to achieve a better quality of life.

This year, the official theme of Social Work Month is “Social Workers are Essential.” Not only are social workers essential to individuals within the community, but they also use their collective voice to advance social justice reform. Social workers drive change and improve lives by working to pass laws and promote policies that give people better access to the resources they need and deserve. They have also been considered “essential workers” throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Social work professionals work in a variety of settings, including hospitals and other healthcare facilities, VA centers, all levels of government, corporations and more. They also work in schools, helping children get the services they need to get the best possible education. Social workers often work with people suffering from depression, anxiety, substance use and eating disorders and other mental health and behavioral health disorders.

Every day, social workers help people who are dealing with life’s most challenging problems, including poverty, domestic or community violence, sexual assault, homelessness, equal rights, addiction and mental health challenges. They work to protect children from neglect and abuse and to help form new families through adoption.

The National Association of Social Workers organizes and oversees National Social Work Month.

The National Association of Social Workers

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) was founded in 1955 and is now the largest professional association of social workers in the world. The NASW “advocates for all social workers, nationally and locally, and works to shape public policy and advance the role of social work in effecting social change.”

The NASW supports its members by providing continuing education and professional development programs, tools, resources and published material to increase knowledge and enhance job skills and by working to maintain the highest standards in the profession.

Besides supporting their members, the association works to educate the public about the importance of the social work profession and how public coalitions, voters, and policymakers can work together to impact social policies on a federal level.

You Can Help Celebrate the Social Work Profession

Whether you are a social worker, know a social worker or simply appreciate the vital work they perform, there are many ways to take part in National Social Work Month 2021. Help recognize the profession and further public understanding of how social workers transform lives.

2021 Activities, Resources, and Toolkits

Learn more about the rationale behind this year’s theme, “Social Workers are Essential,” and use any (or all) of the tools below to help spread the word.

Media Toolkit

This toolkit from the NASW provides a wealth of information teaching you how to write effective messages about social work for social media and the news so you can educate others on the many ways social workers are essential to our society.

Learn how to craft positive messages that convey what social workers do for their clients and their communities. Use your own stories and images to help shape how the public sees and appreciates the social work profession.

Learn how to get your message heard.

The toolkit teaches you how to write an effective:

  • Media pitch
  • Press release (sample)
  • Letter to the editor (sample)
  • Social media callout

The media toolkit also teaches you how to use the web in your outreach efforts, too.

Social Media Toolkit

On March 1, join the NASW “Social Media Storm” across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Reels, Fleets, and Instagram. Between noon and 1 p.m., use the hashtags #SocialWorkMonth and #SocialWorkIsEssential to talk about the ways that social work has impacted you and your friends, family or community.

NASW has included a series of Social Work Is Essential images that the public can use to showcase their support for the social work profession. Make sure to include the hashtag #SocialWorkIsEssential or tag the NASW @nasw on Twitter and @naswsocialworkers on Facebook and Instagram in your post.

Throughout March, share stories highlighting the importance of social work across all your social media platforms. If you can, post a few times per day to highlight the importance of social work in your life.

More Resources

Social workers serve lots of different people in our communities. If you are — or know — a social worker who is helping a particular segment of the population, NASW has put together special resources to celebrate their work, too. Just see the links below for more information.

Additional Ways You Can Help

  • Share the history of social work. For over a century, social workers have worked to empower the vulnerable and promote social reform. By actively taking part in the 2021 National Professional Social Work Month, you are supporting a profession that has positively impacted lives for decades.
  • Use the following hashtags in your media posts:

#SocialWorkIsEssential #IAmEssential #EssentialSocialWorker #SocialWorkMonth #SWMonth @nasw

  • Share screenshots, post photos and videos to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok of virtual or in-person social work month events you attend.

Celebrate professional social workers by helping to spread the word about the vital role social workers play in the lives of so many.

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