March recognized as national social work month

The month of March is recognized as Social Work Month. Every year has a new theme and for 2021 it is “Social Workers Are Essential.” The month is used to recognize the hard work done by Social Workers and to learn more about the profession. In 1963, the idea of the celebration was introduced by the National Association of Social Workers. It was not until 1984 that the United States’ Government formally recognized the holiday, and it was signed into law by Ronald Regan. By definition, social workers help people solve problems in every-day life. This can include child welfare, substance abuse counselors, and justice and corrections. Professionals in this field work long hours and are drastically underpaid for the amount of work they complete.

Social work students at West Liberty University (WLU) must complete more than just coursework. Students are also required to have completed 400 hours in an internship the senior year of their undergraduate degree. The program is small at West Liberty, averaging 16 students per class.

At WLU, there is a Social Work Club on campus. Their main goal is to bring attention to social issues on campus as well as be a safe space for students to air concerns. The current president of the club is Samaria Oiler. The club also has an Instagram where they post information pertaining to the club and Social Work in general. Their most recent post details Social Work Month and explains how to become a social worker.

Madisson Perdue, a WLU Social Work student, commented on the profession and what it means to her. “To me, Social Work is more than a profession, it is a way of life. It occupies so much more than the negative stigmas that surround the profession. Social Work is giving a voice to everyone and advocating for the equality of all individuals.” This sentiment is reflected by many in the field and degree pathway.

For more information, please email the author at [email protected] or WLU’s Social Work Program Director Dr. Sylvia Hawranick Senften at [email protected]