Call Yourself a ‘Social Worker’ !

26 Jul

DanielleBy Danielle Smith, MSW, MA, LSW

NASW Ohio Chapter Services Coordinator

How often have you heard someone say “Well, I used to be a social worker but I am doing policy work now” or introduce themselves only by their job title of “therapist, counselor, caseworker, etc.?” I hear it all the time and I find it frustrating. If we do not identify ourselves as social workers- how will we ever get the recognition that we deserve?

As a social worker, I am proud of the title I have earned through my education, my license, and my experience. I am a part of a profession that shaped the country and the world we live in for over one hundred years. I am proud to be in the same profession as Jane Addams, Frances Perkins, Jeanette Rankin, and Dorothy Height. To me, after earning your social work degree you are a social worker for life. If I worked at McDonald’s I would identify myself as a social worker because it is who I am not just what I do. No matter where I am employed in the future- whether it be a direct service agency, the Statehouse, or in non-profit management- I will be a social worker because I was educated to be a social worker with a system of values and ethics that govern me as a professional.

If you are a social worker I hope that you will call yourself one. We must build pride in our profession and awareness of the great work that we do everyday in the public.


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