By, Roxy Simons March 21, 2016
Social work is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs. March is National Social Work Month, which helps bring light to the 600,000 professional social workers in this country who change lives everyday by helping people help themselves. We ask that everyone, not just professional social workers, help promote social work month in whatever way you can. For example, you can start by educating yourself and those around you on the importance of this profession. There are a plethora of social work textbooks and pamphlets available to the public, but you can also learn a lot from all forms of entertainment. For example, a few inspiring movies that feature characters who are social workers include I am Sam, Precious, and even the Disney classic Lilo and Stitch. There are also many novels that center on the profession. I personally recommend The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer and Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. You can also learn more about social work from watching a variety of TED talks, including Anna Scheyett’s “Social Workers as Super Heroes.”
If you’re considering becoming a social worker, this is the perfect time to do your research and figure out if this is the path for you. As one of the fastest growing careers in the United States, social workers are able to advance both personally and professionally. They can significantly impact their communities and better society through their understanding of what their often disadvantaged clients truly require for a fulfilled life. After all, the majority of a social worker’s day to day responsibilities consists of directly interacting and helping their clients. Social workers can be found in all stages and areas of life, from childhood to old age. They assist in schools, hospitals, military facilities, police departments, and more.
Even if you aren’t a professional social worker, you can follow their lead by making a difference in your community. Organize a basketball tournament for the young students in your area. Volunteer to read to elementary school kids or help them with their homework. You could also lend your time to a retirement home or a soup kitchen. Raise awareness and encourage your peers to get involved in their communities by posting about National Social Work Month on your social media platforms. Discuss the importance of social work with your friends and family. If you know any social workers personally, ask them questions about their professions, such as the biggest challenges they face on a daily basis or the best part about their job. We encourage you to learn as much as you can about social work, especially now during National Social Work Month, because, as Anna Scheyett says in her TED talk, “Everyone is going to need a social worker at some point.” The more you know now, the easier the process will be when you face a challenge in life that leads you to a social worker.