This career requires long hours, can be emotionally challenging, and often pays too little. Sounds amazing, right? Sign me up! Well, for the unsung heroes that are social workers that’s their reality. And yet, they work tirelessly every day to improve the lives of others. They help protect vulnerable children, support families in need of assistance, and clinical social workers diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues. So, to show appreciation for all the amazing people who have chosen this sometimes difficult but also rewarding career, we celebrate National Social Worker Month. At FirstLantic Healthcare, we see first-hand how important their work is to our patients and their families. We also recognize that many people don’t know as much as they should about the profession, so here are five interesting facts.
- The mean salary for social workers is approximately $60,000 per year despite the importance of their work and the fact that many hold Master’s Degrees.
- According to the government, over 60% of mental health services are delivered by licensed social workers.
- Four members of the House of Representatives and two US Senators are social workers – and over 170 total hold elected office at a national, local, and state level.
- There are more than 680,000 social workers in the U.S. yet it’s projected that the number of social workers needed will grow by 16% over the next decade.
- Social workers are using technology to treat patients via telehealth services which lower costs and increase the number of patients that can be treated.
- The US government officially recognized social worker month in 1984.
- Social Workers help people in all stages of life, from children to the elderly, and from all situations from adoption to hospice care.
- Forty percent of mental health professionals working with the Red Cross Disaster Services Human Resources system are social workers.
- The field of social work celebrated its’ centennial in 1998.
- Social workers can be found in most police departments, hospitals, military facilities, mental health clinics, and in many large corporations.
In summary, social workers are integral to maintaining a healthy and functioning society. So, this year acknowledge these dedicated professionals. Promote them on social media with the hashtags #socialworkers, #SWGenerationsStrong, #SWMonth, and others. Honor someone you know with a note or gift. And donate to organizations like The National Social Work Association and The Social Work Disaster Assistance Fund. As Linda May Grobman, Publisher/Editor of The New Social Worker, wrote “Health care crises, racial inequity and violence, and the intersections among these issues are not new issues. And they are not ‘extras’ for social workers. These are all part of the social environment within which social workers and their clients work and live. Social work does not have the option to ignore them. Social worker’s roles are essential.”
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