DHW social workers “Stand Up” for Idahoans every day


March is Social Work Month, a nationwide campaign to recognize and better educate the public about the professionally trained and certified social workers who “stand up” for vulnerable people every day, including the more than 300 social workers employed statewide by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (DHW).

DHW social workers serve in a variety of roles and job titles across several of the department’s divisions, including Family and Community Services, Behavioral Health, Licensing and Certification, Medicaid and Welfare. They come into daily contact with vulnerable Idahoans who are seeking help, comforting people who are experiencing illness, mental health crises and substance use issues and ensuring they receive the correct care, resources and assistance on the road to recovery.

For example, child and family social workers at IDHW stand up by protecting Idaho children who have been abused or neglected, helping displaced children find a nurturing environment through foster families, re-unification or adoption, and working to ensure young people have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

“There is no greater gift to society than the social worker, spending endless hours to provide a safe environment for children while working to reunite families,” said Gary Moore, administrator of the Division of Family and Community Services. “On behalf of the entire agency, thank you for your dedication and teamwork.”

Added Ross Edmunds, administrator of DHW’s Division of Behavioral Health: “Every person has unique talents and gifts – social workers are remarkable because they are willing to use their talents and gifts in the service of others. I am proud to be a social worker myself and proud to work alongside such an extraordinary group of social workers at this Department in service to communities across the state.”

DHW social workers recently have been recognized publicly for their support of vulnerable populations around Idaho, from working with other organizations to help displaced residents of a Nampa mobile home park who were forced to relocate, to constantly being on the vigil to protect and advocate for the safety of children statewide.

To help the public and the media better understand the contributions made by professionally trained and certified social workers to the community and society, the National Association of Social Workers created a special infographic that gives social workers and advocates for vulnerable populations suggestions on how to help correct popular misconceptions about social workers. To learn more, visit http://www.socialworkers.org/pressroom/swmonth/2017/default.asp

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