March is National Social Work Month

March 1, 2024
empowering social workers logo with yellow sun and face

We celebrate social work and social workers every day at the Garland School. It is who we are and what we do. But, the month of March is extra special for us, and for many of you, as well. March is National Social Work Month, and we will host several social media events with some giveaways for participation, an event on main campus to showcase our profession, and events on our campus to support our future social workers. This year's theme is "empowering social workers, inspiring action and leading change". Through the efforts of groups like the National Association of Social Workers, campaigns are underway to help support and empower social workers who help and empower others. According to the NASW, they hope to "raise awareness of the social work profession and highlight the need for the government, regulators and employers to work to improve pay for social workers as a way in investing in addressing challenging social issues." We will do our best to celebrate and bolster these efforts, as well. If you would like to learn more about the rationale behind this year's theme and to learn how you can join in the campaign, read more below! 

The Diana R. Garland School of Social Work is helping celebrate this year’s Social Work Month in March with the theme “Empowering Social Workers” and a campaign that will give the public ways to support the social work profession as it addresses issues our nation faces—including the need for more mental health services providers.

People become social workers because they have a strong desire to help others. Social workers have a hearty sense of social justice and follow a Code of Ethics that calls on them to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people. They are particularly attuned to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty.

Social work is one of the fastest-growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It predicts nearly 800,000 people will work as social workers in the United States by 2032, an increase of seven percent over the decade.

They are certainly needed. Several states and metropolitan areas have said they are experiencing a shortage of mental health services providers, including social workers, and social services staff to help people and families in economic distress find affordable housing and other services.

In addition, social workers are on the frontlines in helping our nation deal with an opioid addiction crisis and gun violence epidemic.

The annual Social Work Month campaign in March is a time to inform the public, policymakers, legislators, and employers about how social workers help millions of people every day, helping them to overcome life’s hurdles and live to their full potential. You will find social workers everywhere in our society, including hospitals and mental health centers, federal, state, and local government, schools, community centers, corporations, and social service agencies.

However, social workers need support so they can fulfill their mission to enhance human well-being. That is why the 2024 Social Work Month theme is “Empowering Social Workers: Inspiring Action, Leading Change.”

During Social Work Month and beyond, we urge supporters of social workers to press state and federal lawmakers to pass legislation that supports social workers and help boost their salaries, including the Improving Access to Mental Health Act and legislation to improve social work safety.

States should also pass the Interstate Licensure Compact, which would allow social workers to practice in multiple jurisdictions. This would make it easier for social workers to provide mental health services in states where there are provider shortages.

Other facets of the campaign can be found on the Social Work Month online toolkit at They include:

  • An official proclamation that you can get local, state, or federal politicians to endorse.
  • Merchandise celebrating Social Work Month 2024 from official vendor Jim Coleman Ltd.
  • A draft Letter to the Editor that can be shared with news media.
  • A Social Media Toolkit
  • Downloadable videos