World Social Work Day takes place every year on the third Tuesday in March and allows professionals to celebrate some of the work that these men and women do every day. Social workers can work for government agencies, hospitals and in other settings to help those in need. Though they do investigate claims of abuse while working with children and the elderly, they also arrange for nurses and other types of care for the elderly and those recovering from injuries. Look into some of the ways you can celebrate the day this year.
The International Federation of Social Workers holds a competition for this celebration every year that lets competitors draw, create and design their own posters that they can enter. It usually has a deadline around the end of November the year before the next celebration, but winners will receive notification from the IFSW before the day arrives. Winning posts appear in advertising campaigns all around the world and on the IFSW website. The IFSW also awards winners lifetime membership in the organization.
Visit the United Nations
One reason for this day is that it allows social workers to come together and discuss an important issue facing people around the world. Hundreds of people attend a special event at the United Nations hosted by the IFSW every year. It usually runs for a few hours in the early morning, but there is a separate event later in the day set aside just for social work students and students majoring in similar subjects. Though the IFSW requires that guests register in advance, it doesn't charge a fee to attend.
Take a Tour
Show your support for the hard work that these professionals do with a tour of a social work office in your neighborhood or city. Make sure that you call in advance to ensure that there will be people there on the date and that the office is open to the public. While not all offices offer public tours, many will let you stop by for a short visit. You might bring along drinks or snacks to let those workers know you appreciate them.
Make a Donation
Many nonprofit organizations hire social workers but need help paying for everyday supplies like printer paper and pens. Making a donation to one of those groups shows them that you know they have struggles and that you want to help. Contact the organization ahead of time to see if it would prefer donations in the form of specific items or a cash donation. Shelters that cater to the homeless and victims of domestic abuse may need help in the form of new or gently used clothing and toys for those living on-site.
Become a Member of the IFSW
The IFSW is one of the main organizations behind World Social Work Day, and it now offers different membership levels for both professional social workers and others. As someone not working as a social worker, you can sign up for a friends membership. According to the IFSW website, this membership gives you free digital access to its journal all the way back to the 1950s, discounted fees when registering at upcoming events and discounted access to new journal articles. You'll also learn about upcoming events ahead of time and have the chance to create and advertise your own events.
Social workers have a number of duties that they handle every day, and many deal with a lot of stress on a daily basis. The International Federation of Social Workers created World Social Work Day as a way to bring attention to this career and to help those professionals work together.