Our Blog

Keep Up With What's Happening!

contact us to speak directly to a care team expert:
(877) 801-2664
Celebrating Social Workers Month, March 2024

Happy Social Workers Month!

What is a Social Worker and why is there an entire month dedicated to honoring them? Well, let me tell you!

A social worker is a very special person who helps people in challenging situations. Whether these people are children or adults, or even groups of people (like families), social workers are a valuable commodity for them. Think of a social worker as your own personal advocate—someone who supports you and works with you to find community resources to help you.

Many social workers specialize in helping a certain population of people or working in a specific setting. There are social workers in schools, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, long term care communities, senior centers, mental health clinics, substance abuse clinics, the military, and more! They help relieve people’s suffering, fight for social justice, and improve both lives and communities.

In the Care Advantage world, most of the social workers we encounter are focused on patient care and support for older adults. These healthcare social workers help patients and families understand diagnosis, what it means for the future, and what support there may be. They utilize resources that will help you – from making referrals for medical equipment or finding support groups to connecting with businesses that can help you modify your home or lifestyle to live more independently, safely, and happily. If you have ever had a loved one in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, a “discharge planner” is often the social worker that helps your family navigate next steps– whether it is planning the transfer to another facility for continued rehabilitation, or planning the discharge home with agency partners that provide home health or palliative/hospice services and personal care (such as Care Advantage!).

Social work wasn’t always a formal profession. Some version of it has been around for centuries, but it was usually a volunteer position for helping others. The profession itself originated in 19th Century England, based on casework, poverty relief and social action. Today, social workers hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work through a program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. Some states or settings may require special licenses. It is best described as a career with meaning, action, diversity, satisfaction, and a variety of options. These professionals use psychology and sociology to solve social issues and improve individual lives. That is not an easy task! It can be emotionally draining, require long hours, and pay entirely too little. Yet, these amazing individuals strive to improve the quality of life and advocate on the behalf of so many people. Many social workers advance their careers to become executive directors of nonprofit organizations, professors, corporate leaders, and even members of Congress. Talk about a background with lots of opportunity!

Social Work Month was introduced in 1963 by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in order to uplift and celebrate the valuable contributions social workers make to our society. Social  Workers Month became an annual March observation in 1984, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. There are annual themes based on social issues that the NASW wants to bring to light, such as HIV/AIDS, children in poverty, racial and ethnic harmony, and aging parents.

The 2024 theme is “Empowering Social Workers!” This year, NASW wants to highlight the need for the government, regulators and employers to work to improve pay for social workers as a way of investing in addressing social issues.

A single social worker can influence an entire life. I think of them as real-life superheroes. They should have to wear capes to work!

Join me in saying THANK YOU to every social worker everywhere!

Posted On
March 18, 2024
Beckie Spaid, DSA-NC