March is National Social Worker Month celebrating one of the nation’s largest professions. The primary mission of social work is to enhance human well-being and assist people who have barriers in meeting their basic needs to achieve health and self-sufficiency.
“Our social workers understand the challenges vulnerable individuals and families face to achieve improved health and greater independence,” said Gwen Anderson, who heads the department’s Health and Social Services Division. “Whether it’s mental health issues, at-risk pregnancies, chemical dependency, persons with disabilities or long-term care needs for our aging population, we have a dedicated staff working hard to address each person’s needs, challenges and opportunities.”
The department administers more than 70 federal and state benefit and assistance services and programs totaling more than $116 million annually. The department recently initiated a major restructuring designed to improve efficiency and more effectively integrate services.
“We have a duty to taxpayers and our customers to integrate more effectively the many state and federal programs we administer, so nurses, social workers and financial workers can work together to help people achieve greater independence and well-being,” Anderson said.
Tami Lueck, adult services supervisor added, “Our communities thrive when everyone has the opportunity to lead productive and fulfilling lives. National Social Worker month is an important opportunity to recognize those who help connect the most vulnerable in our community with tools and resources that assist them in navigating life’s challenges.”