Celebrating DCHS Social Workers, Impact on Alexandria During Social Work Month
A DCHS CONNECT FEATURE
March 5, 2021--March is Social Work Month, and the Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) is celebrating the impact our social workers are making to improve the well-being and enhance the basic needs of all Alexandrians, especially the most vulnerable in our community.
DCHS social workers support a variety of City programs that protect children and adults from abuse and neglect, provide mental health and substance use disorder treatment, work with families and youth in schools, help residents transition from homelessness, support individuals with disabilities, help residents access resources, jobs and training and much more.
This year’s theme is “Social Workers are Essential,” highlighting the invaluable contributions social workers are making, especially in the midst of a pandemic. During the COVID-19 pandemic social workers have also been on the frontlines along with doctors, nurses, grocery store staff and other essential employees.
Over the past year, DCHS social workers and staff have faced the challenges brought on by the pandemic by finding ways to increase access and support to services and support, such as implementing telehealth options for residents accessing mental health and substance use programs, offering online support groups, launching a Narcan by mail program, and implementing an initiative to help Alexandrians get back to work.
The social work profession is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, with nearly 800,000 people expected to be employed as social workers by 2028. Social workers are also one of the largest groups of mental health care providers in the United States, and work daily to help people—whether in person or remotely—in recovery from substance use disorders and mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
The National Association of Social Workers introduced Social Work Month in 1963, and the month was officially recognized by the White House in 1984. To learn more about the annual recognition, visit socialworkers.org.