The Time is Right for New Outreach to Social Workers

Published on : February 9, 2022

About Social Work Responds
The Association of Social Work Boards, the Council on Social Work Education, and the National Association of Social Workers are committed to collaborating on the range of issues affecting the social work profession and the people and communities we serve in this ever-changing and unsettling environment created by the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

The Time is Right for New Outreach to Social Workers

In the October edition of Social Work Responds, we invited readers to respond to a feedback survey to help inform the leadership of ASWB, CSWE, and NASW about how our collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic and this newsletter in particular support you.  
We appreciated hearing from those who responded to that survey because your feedback will help guide our future collaborations and efforts to empower social workers, educators, students, and regulators to dismantle racial injustice and adjust to our lives entering the third year of this pandemic. 

While we did not come close to the 1,600 responses from our first feedback survey in April 2020—which was early in the COVID-19 pandemic trajectory and before the murder of George Floyd galvanized anti-racism initiatives across the country—we believe that there are key takeaways from the small number of responses.  

Looking Back 

The Social Work Responds newsletter was launched to support practitioners, educators, and regulators with the resources and information needed to make the adjustments forced on our society by the pandemic in March 2020.  
We have come a long way from those days, though in some respects, not far enough. After 20 editions of this newsletter, what is clear to ASWB, CSWE, and NASW based on readership data and the recent survey is that 47% of respondents agreed that Social Work Responds was helpful, but that positive response was tempered by a larger percentage disagreeing (29%) than those strongly agreeing (23%).  

Gratifyingly, two of the top three topics that survey respondents found most helpful were on target with the purpose and mission of Social Work Responds: COVID-19 health and safety and racial equity. Mental health was the third topic of greatest help. 
Our takeaway is that the Social Work Responds newsletter may not be the most useful way to provide support and insights for you at this time; we will therefore redirect our time and attention into other collaborative efforts that serve the profession.  

Looking Forward 

Approximately 90% of survey participants either agreed (42%) or strongly agreed (48%) that it is valuable that ASWB, CSWE, and NASW collaborate and provide their shared perspectives on issues important to the social work profession. While this question was specific to Social Work Responds, leadership is interpreting the feedback more broadly. 
We have more work to do. Whether that means finding different channels for outreach, different types of outreach, or getting more information from you, we will use these metrics to inform our future plans for communicating with our members. Topics of highest interest to survey respondents going forward include: ethics, social justice and equity, regulatory issues, telehealth, and mental health. We plan to keep these topics in mind as we determine future directions for our continued collaboration, beginning in March with Social Work Month. 
As we plan on future projects, we view this wrap-up edition of Social Work Responds as a pause, and not a full stop. Thank you for the time and attention you have given our organizations by reading, sharing, and responding to this newsletter. We look forward to upcoming projects and collaborations and supporting each of you through whatever challenges lie ahead for our profession, our society, and our world. 
Stay tuned!