About Social Workers
Every social worker is uniquely qualified to help people right in their own environment, by looking at all the different aspects of their life and culture. We work to ensure your personal well-being, prevent crises and to counsel individuals, families, and communities. We make sure people get the help they need, from the best resources available. And for more than 100 years, we’ve been doing just that.
Social workers care for people in every stage of life, from children to the elderly. We help them overcome life’s most difficult challenges, and the troubles of everyday living, including:
- physical illness
- mental illness
Our help reaches every part of the community, from hospice care to adoption agencies, and in places you may not expect, including:
- mental health clinics
- military barracks
- veterans hospitals
- senior centers
- public social agencies
Wherever and whenever you need help, social workers are there.
There are more than 600,000 professional social workers in the United States who have committed their lives to making a difference. They’ve all earned bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral social work degrees, and have completed a required number of hours in supervised fieldwork.
Social workers take pride in being the only professionals trained to work with people in their environment, looking at all dimensions of the individual’s life. Our training comes from a nationwide system of accredited education programs, and is reinforced with practice standards, credentials, and state licensing regulations.
NASW Practice Standards
The practice of social work requires knowledge of human development and behavior; of social and economic, and cultural institutions, and of the interaction of all these factors as well as skills in developing relationships, brokering and accessing services, assessing needs and facilitating change. The NASW Practice Standards address quality social work practice on the following issues:
- Substance Use Disorders
- Continuing Education
- Health Care
- Clinical Social Work
- Cultural Competence
- Child Welfare
- Personnel Practices
- Palliative Care
- School Social Work
- Long-Term Care
- Case Management
- Social Work Practice with Family
- Caregivers of Older Adults
We blend our education and experience with a strong code of ethics. Every social worker values these principles because they prepare us to help people with life’s challenges.
Our Code of Ethics addresses:
- Dignity and Worth
- Importance of Relationships
- Social Justice
Social workers elevate service to others above self-interest. We help people in need and address social problems. We volunteer some portion of our professional skills with no expectation of financial return.
Dignity and Worth
We value every person and treat them with respect, no matter their differences.
Importance of Relationships
We understand that having relationships helps. We seek to strengthen relationships among people to promote, restore, maintain, and enhance the well-being of individuals, families, social groups, organizations, and communities.
Every relationship we have is built on trust. Every day we are aware of our core values, and the ethical principles that we abide by.
We practice within our abilities and strive to develop and gain knowledge and skills that we can apply in practice.
We challenge injustice in the world. Particularly on behalf of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups.
How NASW Helps
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), is the largest organization of social work professionals in the world, with more than 130,000 members—90% of whom hold master’s degrees in social work. There are NASW Chapters in every state in the United Stated, as well as in Washington, D.C., New York City, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
NASW works to promote the well-being of individuals, families and communities. Through its advocacy, NASW aims to shape legislation and public policy that:
- Protects and strengthens the social work profession
- Creates and maintains professional standards
- Promotes human rights and well-being for all people
- Strengthens communities and expands options for you and your family