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Herzing University

Dr. Elizabeth Wilson PhD, MSW, LCSW

Social Work Breaks Barriers in Social Work Month

Social workers have enriched our society by empowering people and communities to overcome hurdles that prevent them from living life to the fullest.

MSW Students at Herzing

Herzing University is helping celebrate 2023 Social Work Month with the theme “Social Work Breaks Barriers.” Social workers have enriched our society by empowering people and communities to overcome hurdles that prevent them from living life to the fullest.

During Social Work Month, Herzing University celebrates all social workers and is proud to offer its Master of Social Work (MSW) to students. The MSW enables the university to further deliver on its mission by educating a broader population of students who will serve their communities and global society in ways unique to the practice of social work. 

The Herzing MSW program is also celebrating breaking another barrier by achieving Candidacy for Accreditation by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation.


Candidacy for a baccalaureate or master’s social work program by the Council on Social Work Education’s Commission on Accreditation indicates that it has made progress toward meeting criteria for the assessment of program quality evaluated through a peer review process. This is an important step in the ongoing process of earning full accreditation and provides reasonable assurance about the quality of the program and the competence of students graduating from the program.

The Goal of Social Work Month

According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the annual Social Work Month campaign in March is a time to inform the public, policymakers, and legislators about how social workers have always broken barriers when it comes to the services they provide in an array of sectors, including hospitals and mental health centers, federal, state, and local government, schools, community centers, and social service agencies.

Social Work Month brings attention to the growing profession and provides an opportunity to increase awareness about the important roles social workers make in our communities. Chances are over the course of your lifetime, you, a family member, or a friend will be helped by a social worker. According to a new survey released by Ipsos, 81% of people who have interacted with a social worker say a member of the profession improved their situation or that of a family member.

Mission of the Herzing MSW program

Social Work Month is the perfect opportunity to shine a light on the Herzing MSW mission: to educate and empower competent, ethical social work practitioners with the culturally informed knowledge, values, and skills necessary for advanced practice within diverse populations and environments. The program prepares confident, professional social work practitioners who are qualified to practice in advanced specializations, including mental health, medical social work, and children, families, and aging services.  

One of the goals of the program is to promote clinical social work excellence through lifelong learning, professional development, service, networking, and adherence to the NASW Code of Ethics. This is one of the reasons we offer a Herzing MSW Advisory Board. Board members are professional social workers who are committed to advancing the profession and giving back to the next generation of social workers. They volunteer their time and expertise to assist the institution in its efforts to design and deliver an innovative and effective program of study that prepares social workers for advanced practice.

Dr. Hyacinth McKee at Herzing

Education

Social Workers are more than friendly helpers. They are highly trained professionals who complete rigorous accredited educational degree programs consisting of evidence-based curriculum that includes emphasis on diversity, research, policy, assessment, and intervention strategies. Social Work students complete 900 hours of field practicum under the supervision of a professional social worker in their community, allowing students to practice and demonstrate the knowledge, values, and skills they learn in the classroom and make a difference in their communities.

Social workers are uniquely trained in systems theory, to identify problems at the individual, group, organization or community levels, and strategically plan where to target their intervention efforts. Social Workers are advocates for social, economic and environmental justice. The Herzing MSW program prepares culturally informed practitioners who will conduct multi-dimensional assessments and provide specialized, evidence-based clinical practice interventions at all practice levels.

Work Settings

Social work is a diverse profession and professionals can work in many different places, including schools, hospitals, mental health practices, veteran centers, child welfare agencies, the criminal justice system, corporations, state, federal and local governments and more!

Values and Ethics 

Although there are many kinds of social work, members of the profession all share common principles. They are people dedicated to seeking complete equality and social justice for all communities and helping people achieve their potential. Each day social workers help break down barriers that prevent people from living more fulfilling, enriched lives. They work on the individual level, helping people overcome personal crises like food insecurity, lack of affordable housing, or limited access to good health care. They also advocate on a systems level to ensure laws and policies are adopted so everyone can access such services.

Diversity and Advocacy 

Social Work Month’s theme of breaking barriers is fitting as our profession is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and condemns discrimination and all forms of oppression.

The NASW Code of Ethics mandates that social workers should not practice, condone, facilitate, or collaborate with any form of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, national origin, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, marital status, political belief, religion, immigration status, or mental or physical ability.

Social Workers are advocates for all voices to be heard and particularly vulnerable members of our communities. One of the goals of the Herzing MSW program is to prepare professional social work practitioners who will advocate for populations experiencing oppression and discrimination, by critically examining systems, developing and changing policies, advocating for social justice, and increasing access to services in their specialization areas. Culturally responsive social work practitioners advocate inclusion and equality within their areas of specialized practice.

Dr. McKee at the New Orleans Campus

Social Work Month at Herzing

This month we are highlighting professional social workers and sharing opportunities for students to connect and network with other social work students across the country and within our program.  Activities include participating in Social Work Day on the Hill virtual sessions, the Virtual Social Work Month Student Networking Event sponsored by NASW, the inaugural first meeting of the Social Work Student Association, and a virtual Town Hall meeting to learn about social work licensure and how to prepare for the exam as you go through graduate school. Learn about updates to the social work interstate licensure compact. Students will also have the opportunity to ask any questions about the MSW program and offer feedback.

Thank a Social Worker

Finally, Social Work Month allows us to offer a sincere thank you to all social workers who are making a difference in the lives of students, clients and communities.

Each day, social workers break barriers in innovative ways that help millions of Americans live their best lives. Social workers also work in politics and in communities to improve living conditions for all. During Social Work Month we urge you to educate yourselves about our amazing profession, thank the social workers in your lives, and help support the profession.

Learn More About Our Master of Social Work Degree

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* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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