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News & Press: Advocacy

Social Workers Make Change Possible For Michigan Residents

Saturday, March 1, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Duane Breijak
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March is National Professional Social Work Month

LANSING, MI—The social work profession fights for the welfare of many diverse populations in the State of Michigan and around the world. Often, there is a stigma attached to the title of "social worker” that describes professionals as those who take children away from their families. In truth, there are 23,000 social workers in Michigan alone that work with clients in many fields. Social workers serve as experts in many important areas, including: addictions & substance use, aging/gerontology, child welfare, community development, education, healthcare, legislation & social policy, lesbian, gay, bisexual, & transgender (LGBT) issues, physical & sexual violence and women’s issues, private practice and schools.

Currently in Michigan, social workers are working on a range of important topics, such as: infant mental health, health care reform, immigration, deaf and hard of hearing services, LGBT rights, the needs of private practitioners, poverty, food access, political and legislative activism and many more. The social work profession’s strengths-based perspective provides a unique ability to effect change on all levels of systems.

Social work contributions strengthen communities, expand options and foster changes that improve life for everyone. Social workers provide 80% of the mental health services in Michigan.According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the profession is growing faster than average for all occupations, especially in the areas of aging and health care services. There are currently more than 640,000 professional social workers employed in the United States.

"Social work is the profession that does the front line work when other professions stand back. Social workers serve as policymakers, administrators, and leaders of nonprofits, community mental health centers, AIDS service organizations, and play a role in most human service agencies and provision of services,” says Maxine Thome, PhD, LMSW, ACSW, MPH, Director of the National Association of Social Workers-Michigan Chapter.

This year’s national social work month theme, "All People Matter,” celebrates the many ways professional social workers make a difference for people every day. This year’s theme was chosen to help raise awareness about the American social work profession’s 116-year commitment to improving social conditions and quality of life opportunities for everyone. Social workers across the globe believe that all people have dignity and deserve respect. Some historic figures include Jane Addams,Frances Perkins,Harry Hopkins,Whitney M. Young,Dorothy I. Height, Senator Debbie Stabenow and former Congressman Ron Dellums.

The National Association of Social Workers-Michigan Chapter thanks all social workers who are working tirelessly in the state of Michigan advocating for their clients.

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