Can We Live Up to the Social Work Legacy?

Sep 9, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

As an early career social worker, I’ve quickly realized that we have a lot of work to accomplish to ensure that our profession survives and thrives and that we can continue to care for the millions of clients who need our services every single day.

Many of my peers have found that low salaries, high educational debt, or safety concerns are a frustrating, but undeniable part of their social work careers. The profession might be losing potential students and experienced social workers due to these workforce issues.

At the same time, due to a struggling economy and health care crisis among other reasons, our clients need us even more to guide them to needed resources, counsel them on important life decisions, and advocate with them and on their behalf.

Watch NASW’s video about the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act (H.R. 795/ S.686) >>

This bill is a first step to address all of these workforce challenges and determine the best course of action to strengthen our profession.

In this brief video we explain why leaders like Frances Perkins, Dorothy Height, and Whitney Young provide lessons for us to learn from and a legacy we must continue.

I hope we can count on our fellow social workers to stand up for our profession as we have always stood up for our clients.


Elizabeth F. Franklin, MSW