By Kayce Dallas, MSSW Intern at Kentucky Youth Advocates
Before I started graduate school for my Master of Social Work, I had no clue that social workers can work in a variety of areas. I think most people believe social workers are just the ones who remove kids from homes, but that is not always the case. If you want to know the many roles a social worker can play check out this resource from the National Association of Social Workers.
This past year we have referred to essential workers as those who work in the hospitals or emergency services. While they are critical to providing services for those in need, we cannot forget about one other essential worker: social workers. Throughout the month of March, we’re celebrating Social Work Month and the essential work they provide every day.
During the pandemic, social workers were still working with clients and connecting them to resources within the community. They worked in hospitals, schools, group homes, mental health centers, and in the community. They too were concerned for the wellbeing of their clients, families, and their communities. They helped with discharge planning, disseminating information about the virus and resources available to help those in need, and supporting anxious clients and coworkers. Social workers were there for those who were grieving losses due to COVID-19 and offered comfort to those struggling and missing human connection.
When social isolation, unemployment, food insecurity, homelessness, mental illness, and family problems coping with the virus set in, social workers were there, taking care of their community. They have and always will be on the front lines and are often not thanked enough.
So, the next time you see a social worker, thank them for their service to their community. If you are a social worker, continue to do great work, and don’t forget to take care of yourself, too.
Opportunity to support social workers and those they serve: Orphan Care Alliance operates the OCA Gateway, an online portal that connects caring community membres to the needs of vulnerable children and families in their community. Social workers or FRYSCs can enter a need and people who are signed up can reply to meet that need.
This post is part of the blog series, Intern Insights.