Top Resources for Today's Social Worker
Professional Organizations and Resources for Today’s Social Worker
As a professional in the field of social work, you can find many helpful resources right at your fingertips. First and foremost are the numerous online educational opportunities available for earning your social worker degree. You’ll also find hundreds of web sites specialized to the subject of social work in its various iterations, along with prominent organizations dedicated to the profession.
National Association of Social Workers
The National Association of Social Workers is the world’s the largest association of social workers, with over 140,000 members and growing. The group’s charter is “to enhance the professional growth and development of its members, to create and maintain professional standards, and to advance sound social policies.”
The NASW was founded in 1995 when seven unique social work organizations combined forces for greater visibility and opportunity. Many free resources are available on the NASW web site, along with links to other helpful tools.
School Social Work Association of America
School social workers can also find support dedicated to the unique challenges of their specialized practice from the School Social Work Association of America. Created to help champion the occupation, the SSWAA has mission to empower school social workers and promote the profession to enhance the social and emotional growth and academic outcomes of all students.
Members of the SSWAA are committed to a practice model that looks at links between home, school and community collaboration as the key to achieving student success. Specifically, this includes providing evidence-based education, behavior and mental health services; promoting a school climate and culture conducive to student learning and teaching excellence; and maximizing access to school-based and community-based resources.
Clinical Social Work Association
For clinical social workers, the most recognized practitioners of mental health services in the nation, the Clinical Social Work Association provides professional resources and advocacy. The group has a strong legislative component, while also providing clinical direction based on new findings and best practices. Clinical social workers can also access career openings through the group’s job board.
These three sites are just an example of the valuable online resources available to Masters in Social Work students and graduates. There are sites dedicated to specific diagnoses, targeted patient populations, and national coalition groups. Most states have offshoots of the NASW for local and regional participation. Forums dedicated to social work also provide an opportunity to connect with other professionals who have common interests and challenges.