There are a number of advantages to belonging to one of the many social worker organizations that are in existence. Generally speaking members of such organizations are able to qualify for a number of different benefits and perks. Many members of such organizations cite the opportunity to meet and network with other social workers in their area as being one of the main reasons why they choose to join such an organization. In addition a number of resources may become available to you that you may not otherwise have had access to as a non-member of an organization.
List Of Social Work Organizations
Here are just a few of the social worker organizations you could belong to as a qualified social worker:
California Clinical Social Work Society
Organization website: www.clinicalsocialworksociety.org
Organization Description: This is a social worker organization with the specific aim of advancing the professional concerns of clinical social workers. Membership is limited to social workers licensed to work as such in the state of California. The advocacy provided is a major advantage of this organization.
Louisiana Association Of Clinical Social Workers
Organization website: http://www.lacsw.org
Organization Description: This is a professional social worker organization for clinical social workers in Louisiana who work in:
- Administrative roles
- Clinical roles
- The private sector
- The public sector
- Medical hospitals
- Nursing homes
- Psychiatric hospitals
- Outpatient clinics
- School systems
- Private practice
New York State Clinical Social Work Society
Organization website: http://www.nysscsw.org/
Organization Description: Specifically for social workers based in New York, this organization offers a number of excellent resources which are highly beneficial to its members, including education programs and mentoring.
Ohio River Valley Clinical Social Work Society
Organization website: http://www.orvcsws.org/main.php
Organization Description: According to www.abecsw.org, the Ohio River Clinical Social Worker Society “advances and promotes the practice of clinical social work through continuing education, collegiality and professional action in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana”.
Society For Social Work Leadership In Health Care
Organization Description: A small organization with only 1300 members, this society aims to universally promote:
- Availability of health care
- Accessibility of health care
- Coordination of health care
- Effectiveness of health care
In the process the society addresses the psychosocial components of health as well as of illness.
American Association For Psychoanalysis In Clinical Social Work
Organization website: http://www.aapcsw.org
Organization Description: This organization protects the right of social workers to practice and provides discounts on a number of things to its members. In addition the organization sponsors a conference on a regular basis that has been described as high beneficial for social workers to attend.
Clinical Social Work Association
Organization website: http://www.clinicalsocialworkassociation.org
Organization Description: This is known as one of the better clinical social worker organizations available and it aims to ensure that its members are up to date and well informed regarding social work matters so that they can be effective in their jobs.
Greater Washington Society For Clinical Social Work
Organization website: http://www.gwscsw.org
Organization Description: This society oversees a number of social workers with both masters and doctoral degrees who work in the following diverse settings:
- Mental health clinics
- Family service agencies
- Psychiatric hospitals
- Medical facilities
- Government agencies
- Private practice
Known for its professionalism it is one of the better societies in Washington to belong to.
Kentucky Society For Clinical Social Work
Organization website: http://kscsw.com/
Organization Description: This organization aims to uphold the good image of social workers in Kentucky. In addition it is devoted to continuing the education of its members and ensuring that ethical codes are kept and upheld.
Missouri Society For Clinical Social Work
Organization website: www.mscsw.com
Organization Description: According to the organizations website it is “united with the purpose of advancing, protecting and promoting excellence in the clinical social work profession at the state and local level”. Members have access to workshops and additional training as well as other to other benefits such as liability insurance, necessary for all social workers to have.
North Carolina Society For Clinical Social Work
Organization website: www.ncscsw.org/
Organization Description: This is the only society that is available for social workers who are based in the state of North Carolina. Aimed at educating social works and upholding ethical standards, this is yet another social worker organization aimed at protecting its members and the general public.
Pennsylvania Society For Clinical Social Work
Organization website: http://www.pscsw.org
Organization Description: This society advocates for social workers, upholds professional standards and offers opportunities for advanced education in the state of Pennsylvania. It also initiates programs to support clinical practice in the state.
South Carolina Society For Clinical Social Work
Organization website: http://www.scclinicalsocialwork.org
Organization Description: According to its website the South Carolina Society for Clinical Social Work is “a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the social work profession and the community it serves”. Being a social work in South Carolina will earn you the right to belong to this organization and benefit from the many opportunities it offers.
Texas Society For Clinical Social Work
Organization website: www.txscsw.org
Organization Description: Members of this organization possess graduate degrees in social work. The society itself is aimed at addressing the needs and concerns of the social work profession, specifically in the state of Texas. Members of the Texas Society for Clinical Social Work society work in both private as well as public settings.
Washington State Society For Clinical Social Work
Organization website: wsscsw.org
Organization Description: This society aims to provide clinical training and support, legislative advocacy on mental health and social service concerns, protection of clients’ rights, and economic vitality for clinical social workers.
Association For The Advancement Of Social Work With Groups, Inc.
Organization website: http://www.aaswg.org/
Organization Description: This organization focuses on social work in groups and does not exist in order to generate profits. In fact it exists to advocate for this aspect of social work.
Association Of Social Work Boards
Organization website: http://www.aswb.org
Organization Description: This is the board of all boards as it is the organization which regulates all of the other social work organizations mentioned here. The website offers online practice tests opportunities for its members in order to prepare for the necessary examinations.
California Social Work Education Center
Organization website: http://calswec.berkeley.edu
Organization Description: There are a number of social worker organizations that are state-specific, but the California Social Work Education Centre, also known as CalSWEC, is literally the biggest such organization in the country offering numerous opportunities to its California based members.
National Association Of Black Social Workers
Organization website: http://www.nabsw.org/mserver
Organization Description: NABSW was established in 1968 to advocate and address important social issues that impact the health and welfare of the Black community. Minority social workers of this kind can benefit from the advocacy and other opportunities provided by the organization.
National Association Of Deans & Directors Of Social Work
Organization website: http://www.naddssw.org
Organization Description: The purpose of this organization is to enhance the effectiveness of education at social worker schools in over 180 graduate schools of social work in the US and in Canada. This improves the effectiveness of those employed n the profession.
National Association Of Social Workers Illinois Chapter
Organization website: http://www.naswil.org
Organization Description: According to their website “NASW is the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world with 150,000 members and over 7,000 in Illinois. The NASW Illinois Chapter keeps their members on top of up-to-the-minute news and information regarding their professional development, whether it’s changes in government regulations, breakthrough treatments, and innovative resources”.
National Association Of Social Workers Montana Chapter
Organization website: http://www.naswmt.org
Organization Description: This is the largest association of professional social workers in the state of Montana and the association’s members are able to benefit from a wide range of educational and advocacy advantages.
National Association Of Social Workers Pennsylvania Chapter
Organization website: http://www.nasw-pa.org/index.cfm
Organization Description: This is a social worker organization in Pennsylvania aimed at providing advocacy, continuing education opportunities, resources, information on licensing and ethics, and professional networking opportunities to its members, all of which are valuable tool sin becoming an effective social worker.
National Rural Social Worker Caucus
Organization website: http://www.ruralsocialwork.org/
Organization Description: This is not, technically speaking, an organization in the strictest sense of the word. It has been described as existing as a rumor rather than as a formal association with structures and rules. The organization was initially introduced in response to the fact that many rural social workers are not able to benefit from the wide range of opportunities offered to their counterparts in the major cities. It was established as a “loose” membership body at the First National Institute on Social Work in Rural Areas hosted by the University of Tennessee in 1976.
In addition to formal organizations there are also a number of resources that social workers will find very useful. Three examples of such resources are:
- DrugWatch.com (http://www.DrugWatch.com)
- Information for Practice (http://www.nyu.edu/socialwork/ip)
- Mental Health America (http://www.nmha.org/)
Although in some states it is compulsory, it is not always mandatory to belong to a social worker organization. Instead you can govern yourself. However this will place you at a disadvantage when you have complaints to make or if you are the subject of a malpractice lawsuit (which happens to even the best of social workers).
Governmental Social Work Organizations vs. Private Social Work Organizations
Funding And Costs
In terms of funding and costs government social worker organizations come out on top every time. This is because they are funded by tax-payers money which generally means that they have a larger budget to work with and can employ larger numbers of social workers without having to worry about the fund raising activities that private social worker organizations have to deal with, in addition, because everything purchased is purchased on a large scale, government social worker organizations are also able to get discounts, ensuring that the majority of the money is spent in your best interests.
Government social worker organizations are highly integrated with other governmental departments. As a social worker you will work closely with:
- Court systems
- Law enforcement systems
By belonging to a government social worker organization you will have more exposure to these systems and increased opportunities to benefit from the information that they provide, thereby helping you to perform your job as a social worker effectively as well as efficiently.
Government organizations have a good reputation behind them. If you belong to a private organization you will find that you will spend a large portion of your time proving your legitimacy, while a government organization is already recognized and your membership will make it easier for you to find a job in that line of work. Government agencies may find it easier to work with both groups and individuals due to their status as government representatives. In short there are more pros in favor of belonging to a government social worker organization than to a private one.
There are a number of social worker organizations to choose from. To a certain degree the organization that you belong to depends on the state in which you are qualified to work as a social worker. However there are also national organizations that you can belong to. Although some organizations have rules about how many different associations you are allowed to belong to at once, many also do not. In this case it is wise to belong to as many associations as you can realistically maintain membership at in order to broaden your horizons and come into contact with more opportunities.