President J. Bradley Creed and Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost Mark Hammond have signed a proclamation recognizing March 2021 as National Social Work Month. This year, the theme for Social Work Month is “Social Workers are Essential.”
According to the National Association of Social Workers, the economic uncertainty, and racial unrest that have followed the COVID-19 pandemic mean that social workers are needed more than ever. More than 700,000 social workers across the country work in schools, mental health centers and private practices, helping people overcome illness and substance abuse and rebuilding families. Data from Bureau of Labor Statistics lists social work as one the fastest growing professions in the United States. Due to increased demand for the services social workers provide, the number of U.S. social workers is expected to rise to more than 800,000 in 2029, up 13 percent from 2019.
School of Education Dean Dr. Alfred Bryant said, “Social workers serve a special role in society by addressing the needs of communities and people. They strive to improve the overall welfare of the citizens they serve by helping people solve and cope with everyday problems.”
“I am particularly proud that Campbell Social Work offers more opportunities to our students than many much larger programs,” said Social Work Interim Chair, Susie Mallard-Barnes. “We have many electives, a study abroad trip, and a partnership with CUSOM to provide social work services in the Community Care Clinic and the Mobile Migrant Farm Worker Health Clinic. We have all of this, but we are still small enough to feel like a family.”
At Campbell, 250 students have graduated with a degree in social work since the program began in 1990. Program Field Director Carmellia Webb reports that in the past three years, about 40 percent of graduates have gone on to a Master’s program in their field. These graduates play a vital role in community organizations and local, state and federal governments, helping create programs and policies that help make our society a better and more equitable place for all.
“Signing the proclamation demonstrates to the community at large how essential we believe the social work field to be,” said Webb. “In light of Covid and all that has occurred in our country, signing the proclamation now provides an opportunity for the University to recognize the departments and students’ commitment to the profession. Hopefully, this signing will be the first of many, signaling our commitment to training these professionals for years to come.”