Five Professional Social Work Associations to Join
- National Association of Social Workers
- Council on Social Work Education
- Clinical Social Work Association
- Society of Social Work Leadership in Health Care
- School Social Work Association of America
Social work associations are inclusive organizations that provide these professionals with a community of like-minded individuals that are striving to create a better America through their work in the field. While many of these professionals do so without the help of an association, they can be great resources for students and new graduates who are trying to find their footing. Here are the top five professional social work associations that every social worker should consider joining.
National Association of Social Workers
The National Association of Social Workers, also known as NASW, is the largest social work association in the world; it currently counts 132,000 professionals as members and is continuing to grow. The association is considered to be the premier organization for social workers and has chapters in all 50 states and in Puerto Rico. Professionals are eligible to for continuing education discounts, compliance training, and conference attendance; they are also offered the chance to attend networking events across the country, enabling them to learn more about their profession and meet with like-minded individuals.
Council on Social Work Education
The Council on Social Work Education, also known as CSWE, is best known as the primary accreditation body for university degrees in America; it is also a non-profit organization that counts 2,500 professionals as members. The association is open to all individuals who work in the social work industry, including students and professors, and focuses on improving the quality of the education provided for those in the field. Professionals will find access to tools, resources, continuing education programs, email newsletters, annual subscriptions to the appropriate academic journals, and more as part of their membership package.
Clinical Social Work Association
The Clinical Social Work Association was created to provide professionals with an association that caters to mental health clinicians. It is a group of individuals who create and maintain the national standard for clinical social workers around the country and provides continuing education as well as other resources to both LCSWs and recent graduates. Along with advocating for fair pay and working conditions for these professionals, CSWA also encourages free dialogue and debate about traditions and methods in the community. It is an incredible organization to become a part of, especially for licensed clinical social workers who are interested in joining a group of professionals who work in the same specialized field.
Society of Social Work Leadership in Health Care
The Society of Social Work Leadership in Health Care was established in 1961 and has grown to be the premier association for social workers in the healthcare sector. The association often partners with other social work organizations to provide free webinars and conferences to social workers and uses technology to distribute their information all across the country. SSWLHC is also a strong advocate for health care policy and positions, often lobbying for legislation that is beneficial to both the country and the social work industry.
School Social Work Association of America
The School Social Work Association of America, known by the moniker SSWAA, is a professional organization that has been dedicated to improving the working conditions and education of school social workers since 1994. It is the only social work association dedicated to this particular niche in the industry. With chapters in 29 states and a bi-weekly email newsletter, the association has become the primary resource for individuals who need access to resources and tools to become better school social workers. Professionals who join the association are offered the chance to attend conferences, partake in specific social events, and even write and publish their research in academic journals.
Related Resource: Top 10 Affordable Master of Social Work Online (MSW) Degrees
Social work is a meaningful career that pays well, according to Forbes. But it’s more than just pay; it’s the idea that social workers are doing work that benefits not only individuals but their families and communities as well. That’s why the above social work associations are important; they provide these professionals with a community that is just as dedicated to the field as they are and want to do great work.