“The American Dream” and Social Work

The profession of social work is a vast and expansive profession who’s mission is to improve the quality of life for people. To help America find its dream again. What happened to “The American Dream” and how can it be part of our future? The answer lies in our community, in our country and in our citizens. We have forgotten it somehow.

This is how the profession of social work can help our society. We can empower society to find this dream again and make it a reality, it is possible. In the vastness of social work, we have a common goal…to improve the quality of life for people. In essence, this is what the American Dream is. This dream crosses party lines, but we cannot see that we have a common goal because we are only focused on the differences between us as citizens. As social workers, we can be a great force for this kind of growth in our society, but we cannot do it alone as individual professionals. Too many social workers are “fighting the good fight” alone in their agencies and communities. We must also be a “united front” as a profession. The NASW aims to be this credible voice for social work. It can help unite us, to work together on our goal of this dream.

Too many social workers do not even know what the NASW is or the influence it can have… our greatest secret weapon goes untapped. The NASW is not a single body organization that functions alone to help social workers and society. It takes OUR participation for it to function properly. We are the NASW, and we can make it work for us in order to help society.

The voice and face of social work needs to be heard. We need to be seen by our government, by society and by ourselves. We cannot do this alone and too many times there is a disconnect between the individual social worker and the profession as a whole. As a profession, we are stronger when we are connected,. We know that a strong support system can help our clients beat the odds, so why do we ignore this idea ourselves?

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We need our government to hear us. We need society to hear us. We are not represented properly in our society because we have remained silent. Being a part of our organization and an active part, can change this perception. We are the face, the voice, the fire of our profession. I call to you …do not let your fire burn out! To restore hope in society, we have to restore it in ourselves as a profession first.

Lydia Zaharias, current Social Work student

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