World Social Work Day

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World Social Work Day

If you didn’t know, March 17th is World Social Work Day! This is a day that recognizes all that social workers do around the world. It is also a day that social workers stand together and share a common message. This year, the key message for World Social Work Day is ‘Promoting the Importance of Human Relationships’. According to the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), this theme was established to build a more international focus on the interdependence of people and the need for change in policies and social service delivery.

Valuing the ‘importance of human relationships’ is a major part of what social workers do. However, it is frequently something that goes unnoticed to many. According to Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, social workers understand that relationships between people are a very important factor in change. Social workers engage people as partners in the helping process. Social workers look to strengthen the relationships among people and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities.

The social work profession was established in the late 19th century. According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), social work is one of the fastest-growing professions. In 2013, there were roughly 600,000 employed social workers in the United States (Bright Star Care, 2013). By 2018, there were close to 710,000 employed social workers (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2019). These numbers are only continuing to rise over the years.

Social workers work with people of all ages and with stages of life. They work with anyone from babies to the elderly. They are also involved in all different levels of society. They vary from working with individuals, groups, and communities. Social Workers work in many different fields of work. For example, they work in places like hospitals, police departments, mental health clinics, military facilities, and even big corporations. Social workers can also work at a national, state or local level to advocate for different policies and legislation to change.

Social workers do more than just help people. People rely on social workers to provide resources to them so that they can get what they need. Social workers work with people to find a solution to some of the most difficult problems that they are facing. Social workers provide services to people when life throws roadblocks into their life. Social workers must make very big decisions that can majorly affect someone else’s life. Social workers are committed to improving social conditions and quality of life for all people. It is very important to look back and see the positive impact that the social work profession has made over the years.

Below are some inspirational quotes from individuals who show the value of providing services and how they can improve a person’s well-being.

“The happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others.”

– Gordon B Hinckley

“Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.”

– Albert Schweitzer

“Never, never, be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

“There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.”

Mary Rose McGEady

As you can see, social work has come very far as a profession over the years. The profession is continuing to grow and evolve. Social workers advocate and work to improve the lives of many individuals, groups, organizations, and societies around them. March 17th is a day set aside to recognize what social workers have done over the years and promote the importance of human relationships.

Author, Samantha Potocnik
Samantha is an intern at EVOLVE and a student at the University of Wisconsin River Falls.

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