National Social Work Month (2024)

March is National Social Work Month, an opportunity to honor social workers in our community and around the nation and world for the invaluable contributions of their profession. Every day, the nation’s 680,000 social workers work to empower and elevate millions of people, including some of the most vulnerable in our society.

Social work can defined as “work carried out by trained personnel with the aim of alleviating the conditions of those in need of help or welfare.”  Social workers help people cope with challenges in every stage of their lives. They help with a wide range of situations, such as adopting a child or being diagnosed with a terminal illness. Social workers work with many populations, including children, elders, people with disabilities, and people with addictions.

It is my opinion that a person who chooses to pursue social work as a career must have a huge heart.  The work is demanding, and the rewards can be tremendous.  However, social work can be heart-breaking also. It takes a brave person to enter a career of such highs and lows.

The majority of staff here at SeniorCare are trained social workers.  Our Care Managers, Protective Service staff, and much of our supervisory staff are social workers.  I see these people spend their work days dedicated to finding solutions for elders who need help.  Every day, I see my co-workers go the extra mile to help make an elder’s life better.  I also see acts of kindness every day between my compatriots.  If a staff member is struggling, there are at least five friends to provide support.

It makes SeniorCare a pretty nice place to work.

Why would a person choose social work as their life’s work?  I asked a few of our social workers and share their feelings today.

“I was hospitalized several times years ago and remember the difficulties and uncertainties.  Social work offers me an opportunity to provide advocacy for patients and their families—to give them someone to talk to when they are having difficulties navigating the health system.  Our health system is so confusing and complicated, and is getting worse all the time.  Seniors and their families are in need of advocates to help them.”

“What attracted me to social work was the social justice aspect of it.  Social work identifies and focusses on the strengths of a person or situation, rather than on what’s wrong.”

“In Massachusetts, we are allowed to make our own choices and take risks.  I like helping people know their choices as they make the best decisions for their life.  It’s nice to help people find their right way.”

“I worked as a social worker in a large city and much prefer working in the smaller communities on the North Shore.  There is a feeling of community here that can be missing in a big city.”

“I have the ability to help people, and like being able to connect people with things they need.  Sometimes, it’s an uphill battle, but our work helps our community and the world at large.  I would hope that if I needed help, someone would give me a hand.  Until that time, I will help others.”

“As an elder services social worker, people smile when I arrive.  They know that I am there to help.”

If you have a social worker in your life, take a moment to thank them for the hard work they have chosen to do.  Social workers are strong and help make our world a better place.