Elizabeth Hoffler: Hi! I am Elizabeth Hoffler, MSW and ACSW. I am a social worker, a lobbyist, and special assistant to the Executive Director at the National Association of Social Workers. Today we are talking about becoming a social worker, and right now I am talking about choosing social work as a career. Social work is an ideal career for individuals looking for meaning and action and satisfaction. Social workers help relieve people's suffering, fight for social justice, and improve lives and communities. We get paid to make the world a better place. Some of society's most notable helpers were social workers. Jane Addams is the founder of our profession. Frances Perkins was President FDR's Secretary of Labor, and Dorothy Height and Whitney Young were both Civil Rights legends. All of these people were social workers. They made great contributions to our society during some of our most troubling times. These social work pioneers laid the path for social workers of today. They set a great example for our commitment to advocacy, social justice, and helping individuals, families, and communities who need us most.
Most people think of social workers when they think of poverty alleviation and child welfare. But we do much more. We can be found in hospitals, helping people cope with cancer and chronic illness. We provide therapy and community health centers and prevent students from dropping out of school. We help prisoners once they reenter communities and provide rehabilitative support in drug and alcohol centers.
We provide outreach and long-term care in nursing homes and are caseworkers in homeless shelters. We also are clinical therapists to members of the military and veterans. And we are first responders to natural disasters.
Social workers are Executive Directors of nonprofit organizations, community organizers, and professors. Social workers can also be found as members of Congress and corporate leaders. If you see yourself fitting this description, you might have what it takes to join the social work profession. Stacy Collins is now going to walk you through the process of becoming a social worker. She will tell you about the degrees, certifications, and licenses that you will need.