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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A professional Social Worker is not a "do gooder, but a licensed professional.

Yet many people still misunderstand exactly what a social worker is and the positive contributions social workers make in our society. For instance, NASW in 2016 asked Harvard Medical School’s Health Publications to correct a definition of social workers that seriously downplayed the role social workers play in providing mental health services in our nation.

 Some reporters continue to write negative articles about a “social worker” making a mistake. However, on closer examination, the identified person in the story is often not a social worker by education, training or licensure. Other reporters will casually describe a local volunteer or community activist as a social worker. Although this is flattering, it ignores the fact that social workers obtain extensive education, training and credentialing so they can proudly carry the social work title. And some states have licensing laws that do not include title protection for social workers. In these states anyone can self-identify as a social worker – they just can’t call themselves licensed social workers. It is important consumers know there is a difference.

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