Social workers promote resilience and advocacy

The National Association of Social Workers begins its annual celebration of one of the nation's largest professions this month. March is National Professional Social Work Month and this year's theme, "Weaving Threads of Resilience and Advocacy," emphasizes the value of using personal strengths and self-advocacy to manage serious life challenges."Social workers strive every day to help millions of people function better in their environments," says NASW CEO Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH. "They also work to change environments that may limit individuals, families and communities."In Sweetwater, professional social workers are making a difference by providing support to local and area caregivers by offering a monthly caregiver support meeting, assisting families through the difficult time of nursing home placement, as well as securing services and equipment needed to help the individual stay in their home as long as possible. Local social workers are linking individuals to available community resources to help in times of need.These resources can range from agencies such as the local food bank, West Texas Opportunities, Nolan County Prescription Agency and The Women's Resource Center. Social workers are an invaluable part of the Sweetwater community."Our democracy thrives when everyone has the opportunity to lead a productive and fulfilling life," says NASW President Jeane Anastas, PhD, LMSW. "For more than 100 years, the social work profession has made the psychosocial well-being of the most vulnerable its top priority because everyone deserves to dream bigger."Recognized as a top growth profession, social work directly addresses the increased demand for health care navigation, family caregiving, child development and veterans' assistance. There are currently more than 650,000 professionally trained social workers in the United States, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth to 800,000 by the year 2020.From 1931, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Jane Addams to 1994 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dorothy I. Height, Social Work Pioneers® have been instrumental in advancing civil rights and human rights policies in America. Today, social work professionals continue to influence and improve services in hospitals, schools, businesses, military branches, government and thousands of non-profit and community organizations across the country.For more information about Social Work Month 2013 or the social work profession, visit National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in Washington, DC, is the largest membership organization of professional social workers with nearly 145,000 members. It promotes, develops and protects the practice of social work and social workers.NASW also seeks to enhance the well-being of individuals, families and communities through its advocacy.