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The Mountaineer Online



March observance recognizes contributions of social workers


The National Association of Social Workers has kicked off a monthlong celebration for one of the nation’s largest professions.
March is National Professional Social Work Month and this year’s theme, “Social Work Matters,” seeks to showcase the impact of more than 642,000 professional social workers in America.
The White House officially recognized March as National Professional Social Work Month in 1984.
“Social workers weave together the threads of society’s social safety net,” said NASW Executive Director Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH. “As the profession of hope, we help people overcome poverty, inequality, insecurity, fear, violence, trauma, loss and pain. What social workers do and how they do it does matter to our country’s success.”
Personnel at Fort Drum will join their counterparts across the nation in observing National Professional Social Work Month.
“Each March, we celebrate the important contributions made by social workers,” said Dr. Todd L. Benham, chief of Behavioral Health Department. “In the Army and here at Fort Drum, social workers play a vital role in the health and well-being of Soldiers and Family Members. A social worker is a highly skilled clinician who is trained to perform in numerous roles, and the performance of social workers at Fort Drum is second to none.
“When you walk around Fort Drum this month,” Benham continued, “be it in the Warriors in Transition Battalion, at the Army Substance Abuse Program, in the Social Work Services / Family Advocacy Program section, in the Behavioral Health Department, in the Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation Clinic or in the Deployment Cycle Support Program, find a social worker and tell him or her how much you appreciate his or her diligence in caring for the Soldiers and Family Members of the 10th Mountain Division (LI).”
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the country due to an increase need for health and aging related services, as well as child, family and school-based supports.
Although professional social workers are employed in more than 50 different fields of practice, their work in eight core services areas is the most recognized:

  • Mental and behavioral health treatment
  • Military and veterans assistance
  • Adolescent and youth development
  • Aging and family caregiving
  • Child protection services
  • Health care navigation
  • Nonprofit management and community development
  • Poverty reduction

In celebration of these contributions, hospitals, schools, businesses, military branches, elected officials and numerous community organizations will honor local social workers at award ceremonies, professional conferences, and media events throughout the month.
Social Work Services at Fort Drum will host a small celebration during Social Work Month.
A kick-off celebration was held Tuesday with a cake-cutting and the reading and signing of the Social Work Month proclamation by Col. Mark W. Thompson, MEDDAC commander.
Other events are as follows:

  • SWS will serve popcorn from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday and March 29, in the Behavioral Health Clinic lobby with a display of resources and information on site.
  • The closing event will be a potluck breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m. March 30, for Behavioral Health and Social Work Services staff.

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