Building on Strengths: Help Starts Here.
(Vocus) March 13, 2008
With National Professional Social Work Month in March, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) is raising the profile of the 600,000 social workers across the country who help individuals, families and their communities. Organizations, including Allsup, which is a national Social Security Disability Insurance representation company, are helping to communicate this year’s theme, “Building on Strengths: Help Starts Here.”
“The foundation for the growth and change in any individual, family or community is existing strengths,” said Elizabeth Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH, executive director of NASW. “Social workers are trained from the ‘strengths perspective,’ emphasizing the assets and resources available, and using those assets to reach their goals.”
The strengths approach fosters hope by focusing on the positive, rather than feelings of helplessness—an important perspective for people with disabilities. Social workers provide a variety of assistance to people with disabilities, whose ailments may be mental illness, chronic disease or physical injury. Often, these debilitating circumstances mean individuals no longer can work.
- Assist people with counseling and psychosocial adjustments to their disability.
- Facilitate access to community resources, such as home health services, clinics, transportation.
- Initiate discussions about personal finances, including the repercussion of lost income and benefits following a disability.
- Provide caregiver and family training to cope with a disability or progressive disease.
- Refer individuals to disease-related support groups.
According to the NASW, social workers provide more mental health services than psychologists, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses combined. Common specialty practice areas for social workers are:
- Mental health: 37 percent
- Child and family welfare: 13 percent
- Health: 13 percent
- Aging: 9 percent
A new DVD, “On Any Given Day: Social Workers Help,” is being distributed by the NASW Foundation at a cost of $5.50. It depicts the experiences of three social workers, including a hospital social worker who supports trauma patients and their families.
Allsup is saluting the NASW and related organizations with free posters highlighting National Professional Social Work Month. Posters are available to hospitals, clinics and other community groups by calling Karen Hercules-Doerr at (800) 854-1418, ext. 5770.
National Association of Social Workers
anadelhaft @ naswdc.org
(800) 854-1418, ext. 5770
k.hercules-doerr @ allsupinc.com
# # #