World Social Work Day & Social Work Week

by D.R., Placement Student

March 15, 2022, has been declared as World Social Work Day. This day is celebrated on the third Tuesday of every March, recognizing the hard work social workers do. This year’s World Social Work Day theme is “Co-building a New Eco-Social World: Leaving No One Behind.” The theme focuses on creating new global values, practices, and policies that develop security, confidence, and trust for everyone, with an additional focus on the sustainability of the planet. The theme is different every year and focuses on a different pressing social issue.

In addition to World Social Work Day, March 7-13, 2022, was declared Social Work Week. Every year, organizations and communities across Canada recognize the dedication and hard work social workers do. In Ontario specifically, social workers are honoured during the first week of March. This year’s theme for Social Work Week was #MoreThanEver. The theme comes from the fact that two years into this pandemic, the need for mental health supports and care is continuously increasing. Social workers are often on the frontlines for such care and support, aiding in the recovery and providing support for those dealing with stress, anxiety, trauma, and burnout.

Social workers have various duties and work in many different sectors. One sector many social workers work in is the Long-Term Care Sector. Social Workers play a vital role throughout Long-Term Care Homes. They can work on the policy aspect of Long-Term Care, and they can work on advocacy for residents and families, and so on. But the critical focus social workers have is social justice. Advocacy and striving for social justice are rooted in a social worker and are something many anti-oppressive social work programs teach their students.

World Social Work Day 2022 is a day to put a spotlight on the social work profession. Additionally, it focuses on how it can engage all social networks, and the community social workers work in to make contributions to the principles and values that the community at large emphasizes. Doing so can respect the inherent dignity of persons. Social Work Week can also allow social workers to feel appreciated for all the work they do.

Both Social Work Week and World Social Work Day are just two ways to show appreciation for people who do immense work. From mental health services to policy work to frontline care, social workers are hard-working people working in various settings. As a social work student who is completing his first placement and someone who has a family member who is a mental health social worker, I can see firsthand all the work that social workers put in. It is tremendous, and I am incredibly grateful to be able to be part of such a hard-working and dedicated profession.

While Social Work Week and World Social Work Day may have passed, the next time you see a social worker, give them an extra thanks! It is something social workers will immensely appreciate, and there is no harm in celebrating a little later.

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