Gov. Edwards recognizes Social Work Month

Governor Edwards signs proclamation for national social work month. Courtesy photo

March is National Social Work Month. It is a time to highlight the ways social workers help and empower others.  This year’s theme is “Elevate Social Work!”  Governor John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation on March 1, 2019 proclaiming March 2019 as Professional Social Work Month in the State of Louisiana.  Governor Edwards wrote that “social workers have helped America’s leaders weave the nation’s social safety net in an array of industries, and everyday social workers address the emotional, psychological, economic and/or physical needs of millions of people by providing a wide range of services; and the social work profession creates pathways for individuals to fully participate in society by striving to ensure everyone is afforded the same basic rights and opportunities.”  
Social workers such as social reformer Jane Addams, former Labor Secretary Frances Perkins, and civil rights leaders Dorothy Height and Whitney Young have helped Americans secure voting rights, Social Security, unemployment insurance, and other programs.   Social workers go through years of education to learn and hone their professional skills so they can help others reach their full potential.  Social workers are trained to examine and address life’s problems in a holistic way. They elevate and empower people, giving them the ability to solve problems, cope with personal roadblocks and get the resources they need to succeed. Social workers also bring together individuals with other people, their communities, local and state government and agencies to address wider problems in our society, including lack of affordable housing, hunger and equal rights for all. You can find social workers literally everywhere – including in schools and colleges, hospitals, veteran centers, mental health facilities, local and federal government, the corporate world and in agencies that help children find new families through adoption and protect children from abuse and neglect. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics social work continues to be one of the fastest growing careers in the nation, with more than 100,000 people expected to enter the field in just seven years. Social workers account for the largest group of mental health service providers in the United States and the Veterans Administration is the largest employer of social workers with a master’s degree.
The Grambling State University Social of Social Work is helping celebrate Social Work Month in March with activities centered on this year’s theme “Elevate Social Work!”  Social Work students will make presentations on the social work profession and careers to high school students at Lincoln Preparatory School and will present a series of workshops to the middle school students on topics to include positive interpersonal skills, managing self/de-escalation, and communicating for success. Additionally, the School of Social Work will host a symposium on Friday, April 5, 2019 for social work professionals and others interested in behavioral health. Social Workers are required to take continuing education courses each year to make sure their knowledge and skills remain cutting edge.  
The services of social workers are needed now more than ever before as the nation grapples with issues such as income equality, the opioid addiction crisis, the environment, and continued struggle for equal rights for all.
The GSU School of social work graduates between 45-50 students annually.  It is the largest producer of social workers in Northern Louisiana.