Declares March 2018 Social Work Month in Illinois

Emotion350SPRINGFIELD – As Illinois grapples with how to address such pressing challenges as violence, addiction, poverty and equal rights, an army of social workers is there to offer help and guidance.

In fact, more than 20,000 licensed social workers are employed throughout Illinois to help people in times of crisis. They work in school districts, colleges and universities, state and local government, social service agencies, the military, health care and mental health organizations and private practices.

Senate Resolution 1371, sponsored by Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), declares March 2018 Social Work Month in Illinois. It was adopted by the Senate Thursday.

“This resolution recognizes the accomplishments of social workers who are in our school districts, in our government buildings and working in private employment every day,” Manar said.

“They are there to help children and adults on their worst days – to cope with grief and uncertainty, to overcome abuse and addiction, to recover from a disaster when all seems lost, and to gather the courage to face down discrimination and bullying.”

This year’s Social Work Month theme is “Social Workers” Leaders. Advocates. Champions.” According to the National Association of Social Workers, the profession is expected to grow faster than average during the next seven years, with more than 649,000 people employed as social workers by 2024.

Social workers are the largest group of providers of mental health services in Illinois, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is one of the largest employers of social workers holding advanced degrees.

Mary Garrison, professor of social work at Millikin University in Decatur, said NASW is honored to have Manar sponsor a resolution for Social Work Month 2018.

“This year's theme supports the efforts of Illinois’s 20,000 licensed social workers and Senator Manar to work actively to meet the needs of those facing barriers of injustice and impacted by abuse, neglect, poverty, addiction and mental illness,” she said. “Illinois social workers thank Senator Manar for recognizing our professional efforts to ensure rights for all through engagement, intervention and advocacy.”

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