When Is Social Work Month 2021? Date, Activity & Gift Ideas

Contributing writer, former long-term care admissions counselor and social worker

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Doesn’t it seem like there’s a day for everything — National Pizza Day, National Dog Day, and even National Fruitcake Toss Day? 

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Don’t forget to put Social Work Month on your calendar. Social Work Month is the time to recognize not only the profession itself but the incredible people who dedicate their lives to helping others. 

Here’s what you need to know about National Social Work Month — and National Social Work Day. 

When is National Social Work Month and Day?

If you know a social worker (or are one yourself), you might agree a month isn’t long enough to recognize the social work profession and what social workers do. Why not make the best of the entire month?

Social Work Month is in March each year and National Social Work Day is always on the third Tuesday of March. 

National Social Work Day dates

  • 2021: March 16 
  • 2022: March 15 
  • 2023: March 21 
  • 2024: March 19 
  • 2025: March 18 
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What is National Social Work Month?

National Social Work Month allows social workers to share their message and receive the recognition they deserve. Organizations like the National Association of Social Workers and the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) help social workers across industries come together and share the spotlight. Social Work Month is celebrated in schools, hospitals, care facilities, and more. 

There’s a different theme every year and materials to promote the theme can be found on the IFSW website. Each year’s theme features a discussion topic and phrase to emphasize and teach. 

Join in on the celebration if you’re a social worker — move your profession forward by sharing what you do and why. If you’re a coworker or friend of a social worker, you might be interested to know what you can do to participate. 

How it got started

Thank the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) for marking the day and month in 1983. IFSW launched and celebrated the first Social Worker Day, followed soon after by organizations and professionals across the globe.

How to celebrate or get involved

If your organization employs social workers, it’s important to plan ways to celebrate the social work department adequately. If you’re a coworker or friend, educate yourself and participate in activities throughout the month to celebrate and honor the social worker in your life.

Are you a social worker? Take advantage of this time to share your passion and take in the recognition you earned. IFSW explains that social work month is the time many in the profession spend promoting the profession and bringing relevant issues they care about to light. 

Activity Ideas for National Social Work Month

Don’t let Social Work Month pass by without implementing activities to get everyone involved and learning about the importance of social work. Here’s a list of activity ideas to celebrate — they’ll go a lot further than a generic mass “thank you” email! 

Create a display 

Creating a display will help you learn and gain a better understanding of the profession. Make a poster that fits the theme for the year. 

Once it’s set up, the display can provide educational information and offer other things like pens or notepads with “Social Work Month” on it. You could offer something more interactive like a spinning wheel to win prizes. 

Lunch and learn 

A lunch and learn can be a hit with the right food and discussion topics. This can work several ways. Either provide lunch for multiple social workers while they learn about a service or topic they enjoy or offer a topic relevant to social work like end of life planning or trauma-informed care. The possibilities are endless and you’re likely to get high attendance if there’s free food involved! 

Speaker 

Bringing in a speaker can be a popular and exciting event. A great way to honor social workers is to have a speaker come in and speak about an inspiring story related to the theme for the year. It can be equally impactful to bring in a speaker who has a story of being positively impacted by a social worker. 

Organize a trip

Organizing a retreat or trip is a great way to emphasize Social Work Month. This can mean attending a conference, going to a renowned speaker off-campus or planning a day for team bonding within the social work department. These experiences can show how meaningful the month is to your organization. 

Gift Ideas for National Social Work Month

Social Work Month is the best time to show the social worker in your life you care and that he or she is doing a good job. Gift ideas don’t have to break the bank to be meaningful — it’s the thought that counts. Here are a few ideas.

Card or letter 

Set aside time to write in a card or letter to the social worker in your life who has impacted you. Write a meaningful thank you and share how and why he or she has made a difference in your life. 

A personalized message will be a keepsake for any bad days ahead. It’ll remind your favorite social worker why he or she is in this profession. 

Self-care items 

Social workers often work with people during tough times and these interactions can weigh on them after hours. Like any profession, making time for self-care is crucial. Bath bombs, lotion, candles, and comfortable blankets can all fall under the self-care umbrella. Give your social worker a relaxing gift! 

Apparel 

Many companies mark the month by giving employees shirts or other apparel items. Allow employees to wear shirts on Social Work Day! 

Experience 

Give an experience in place of a tangible gift — it can be a great idea. Why not treat social work staff members to an overnight stay at a social work retreat or a meal? Bring social workers to dinner or allow a long lunch on Social Work Day. 

Books 

Social work evolves over time and professionals need to adapt as new concerns arise and the population has different needs. One way social workers keep up to date and educate themselves is through books. Why not get a healthcare-related book or a fun book for a change of pace? 

Social Work is Never Done 

Social workers spend time with patients, students, and clients in good times and in bad. They serve as a resource for information as well as a shoulder to cry on. Social Work Month is an opportunity to shine a light on the profession — social workers really do work to improve the world. Get involved during Social Work Month — it’s a great cause.


Sources

  1. “Social Work Month 2020.” Socialworkers.org. www.socialworkers.org/news/social-work-month

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