March is National Social Work Month! This month, we are happy to honor the wonderful social workers we get to work with every day for all their hard work and invaluable contributions to the world.
Social workers empower and transform the lives of millions of people around the world, including the most vulnerable members of our society. Check out these social worker statistics to learn more about all the amazing work that social workers do!
What is Social Work?
- According to the International Federation of Social Work, social work “is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the empowerment and liberation of people.”
- According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 682,100 Social Worker jobs in the US.
- Social worker employment is expected to grow 16% between 2016 and 2026; a much faster rate than the average career in the US.
- The ratio of social workers to populations varies widely in the US, ranging from 80 per 100,000 people in Arkansas to 572 per 100,000 in Washington, DC. Northeast states tend to have high numbers of social workers per capita, and the southern states have fewer social workers per capita.
- Social workers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations.
- A shift is occurring in the social work industry: today’s social workers are becoming less focused on solving problems and more focused on primary prevention, providing interventions in advance to prevent problems from ever occurring in at-risk populations.
- Both Child and Family Social Worker and Clinical Social Worker rank among the top 100 best jobs of 2019.
Who are Social Workers?
- Professional social workers are the largest group of mental health services providers in the United States.
- 83% of all social workers are female. 86% of Masters of Social Work graduates in 2015 were female.
- 47% of social workers work in the child, family, and school sector, 26% work in healthcare, 18% work in mental health and substance abuse, and 9% work in other sectors.
- The primary employers of social workers are governments (41%), private nonprofit or charitable organizations (34%), and private for-profit businesses (22%).
- More than 40% of all disaster mental health volunteers trained by the American Red Cross are professional social workers.
- Jane Addams, a social worker, was one of the first women to receive a Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
Why We Need Social Workers
- 13.9% of Americans live below the poverty line.
- Through mentorship, social workers have contributed to a 68% decline in the juvenile arrest rate between 1996 and 2015.
- The incarceration rate in the US is approximately 716 per 100,000, the highest in the world.
- 1 in 4 people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.
- CPS and its social workers check up on 3.2 million children each year.
- Every year, more than 3.6 million referrals are made to child protection agencies. These referrals involve more than 6.6 million children.
- Over 1.2 million students drop out of high school each year (one every 26 seconds).
Social Work Month is all about educating the public about the invaluable contributions of the profession. We are thankful for all the work that Social Workers do!