Apparently in the US, March is ‘National Social Work Month’.
I know about World Social Work Day which falls on 15th March this year but I hadn’t thought about extrapolating out the joy of celebrating social work to an entire month!
The theme of the month according to the NASW (National Association of Social Workers) is that ‘Social Work Changes Futures’. Nice slogan – I wonder if it fits as well for those working in palliative care as it does for those working with young people.. I can see where they’re coming from with that though.
What will I do to celebrate National Social Work Month?
Well, I’ll tell people for a start – in the hope that it might make them leave me gifts of chocolate – (when I say people I mean colleagues at work!).
Other than that, I’ll probably just continue to plough through my work the way I always have and will always try to do – namely to be best of my ability and with my ethical codes intact.
I wonder whether a National Social Work Month would have much steam here in the UK? Somehow I doubt it. Even a day seems a bit flashy and overindulgent.
I notice that both BASW and the College of Social Work are having events to ‘celebrate’ World Social Work Day.
I’m tempted to go to the London event but it depends on whether I can persuade my manager to ‘celebrate social work’ by allowing me leave to attend!
Although National Social Work Month is a US specific ‘event’, I am going to spend just a little time to reflect on the increased opportunities we have to work and build networks of common interest across international boundaries.
Hopefully, in the near future, we (social workers, that is) won’t be reliant on a ‘College’ to promote social work – we’ll be able to do it ourselves and tell our own stories to counter some of the attitudes that have shaped negative perceptions of our profession.
We need to be proud of what we do and extend the voice of social workers at the front line through social media and social networks so we take part of the process of effecting change and making all our our futures better as well as those of the people we work with and for!
The role of social work and advocacy is, in my view and experience, increasing with the diffusion of media and communication means. We have to speak up for ourselves now and not rely on spokespeople and ‘friendly media outlets’ to do it for us.