National Social Worker Month 2022

by Fran Dinehart, LCSW

Happy Social Worker month to everybody!

March is not only Women’s History Month, but National Social Workers Month as well. According to a 2017 study from George Washington University, 83% of social workers are women! While JFS offers a variety of services to our community, social work is a major part of our mission. Over 30% of our staff are social workers who help a variety of community members thrive and access the resources they need.

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First, let’s talk about what social workers do.  

  • Identify people and communities in need of help
  • Assess clients’ needs, situations, strengths, and support networks to determine their goals
  • Help clients adjust to changes and challenges in their lives, such as illness, divorce, or unemployment
  • Research, refer and advocate for community resources, such as food stamps, childcare, and healthcare to assist and improve a client’s well-being
  • Respond to crisis situations such as child abuse and mental health emergencies
  • Follow up with clients to ensure that their situations have improved
  • Maintain case files and records
  • Develop and evaluate programs and services to ensure that basic client needs are met
  • Provide psychotherapy services

For more information on social workers’ duties, visit: the Bureau of Labor Statistics 

All social workers are bound by the social work code of ethics:

The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty. A historic and defining feature of social work is the profession’s dual focus on individual well-being in a social context and the well-being of society. Fundamental to social work is attention to the environmental forces that create, contribute to, and address problems in living.

Helping people access resources is a significant portion of a social worker’s job. 

Often, we’re helping people identify programs they are eligible for and enrolling them to receive services. One of the reasons I’m proud to work at Jewish Family Service is that we  accept Medicaid and Medicare as well as an income-based sliding scale fee pay structure.  Many mental health organizations do not offer this level of access to mental healthcare for low-income and/or uninsured individuals. It is essential that everyone have access to mental healthcare, no matter their financial status. Part of our job as social workers is to meet our clients where they are, and JFS accepting income-based fees and most insurers is one way we serve our clients by meeting them at their starting point.

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