March 1, 2021
The RPC is helping celebrate this year’s national Social Work Month in March with the theme “Social Workers are Essential,” highlighting the invaluable contributions social workers like the ones at the RPC make in our society, especially as this nation addresses the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Social Work Month campaign will inform the public, policymakers, and legislators about the way the nation’s social workers each day meet people where they are and help them live to their fullest potential.
Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are currently about 700,000 professional social workers in our nation (including more than 30 at the RPC), but that number is expected to rise to more than 800,000 by 2029.
Social work has been around for more than a century and has made significant contributions to our nation. For example, social workers such as social reformer Jane Addams, former Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, and civil rights leaders Dorothy Height, Whitney Young and Ida B. Wells have helped Americans secure voting rights, equal rights, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and other programs.
You will also find social workers throughout society—protecting children from abuse and neglect; providing mental health and substance use disorder treatment; assisting active duty military, veterans, and their families; in schools; helping corporations better serve their communities; and in community organizations, as well as in local and state government.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, social workers have also been on the frontlines along with doctors, nurses, grocery store staff, and other essential employees. Unfortunately, the social work profession faces challenges. There is shortage of social workers in schools where they are needed to help young people cope with complicated issues such as trauma, poverty, the opioid addiction crisis, and the need for more resources to help students learn during the pandemic.
“Social workers often are unsung heroes, but they play an essential role in helping people from all walks of life and backgrounds to live life to the fullest,” says Brandi Granse, the RPC’s Early Childhood Education Director. “During Social Work Month we hope you will learn more about this amazing profession, say a kind word to the social workers in your lives and at the RPC, and advocate for policies and legislation that benefit the profession and the populations they serve.”