By Deborah Son, MSW
NASW-CA Executive Director
You saved lives this year. You chose benevolence, to give, and to serve. You suffered, you were pained, and you persisted. You were there for your clients, your patients, and your communities amid chaos, confusion, fear during a worldwide pandemic and a hard election year, racial tensions, within/against the systems actively creating harms for those you committed to protect. And you continued. You wiped the tears of those who lost their jobs and eventually their homes, you embraced those who struggled to stay afloat while socially isolated, you listened as others shared their feelings of hopelessness and anguish. This is what social workers do. You did this, all while you tried to take care your own mental health, your children, your partners, your communities, and your relationships. You literally saved lives. You supported people in their journey to find employment again, to find homes, to find food, care, and some sense of safety.
As this year closes, I hope this is what you remember – the beauty of your work, of yourselves, and your sacrifice. You didn’t have to choose this career, but you did. And you continue to do so. But that means you need support, and you deserve recognition. We see you. We not only appreciate you, but we believe we should advocate for your visibility and your sustainability. That is our commitment and our service to you.
It is our belief that NASW-CA should hold the onus to advocate for you and the profession we hold dear, and offer the support you need now and ongoing. Social workers are certainly remarkable, and we need support now more than ever. Please continue to communicate with us so that we can make sure your needs are the drivers of change.
However you celebrate the holiday season, please do it well – remember your successes and honor your pain. I am holding you all closely in my hearts during this time. Happy holidays, my colleagues and friends. Stay safe, and grant yourselves the grace and love you deserve this year. Thank you for being social workers.