5 Great Professional Associations for Social Workers

5 Great Professional Associations for Social Workers

  • National Association of Social Workers
  • Clinical Social Work Association
  • School Social Work Association of America
  • Society for Social Work Leadership in Healthcare
  • Latino Social Workers Organization

Professional associations give social workers the opportunity to advance their careers. Networking becomes easier for members who are connected to others in their field across the country or the world. Professional associations can also offer education and resources for social workers who are learning a new technique or beginning work with an unfamiliar population. Students also benefit from organizations that will provide professional development and opportunities to engage with established social workers. Here are a few of the best organizations for strengthening job skills and connecting with peers.

National Association of Social Workers

As the largest professional association for social workers in the world, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) provides a prime opportunity for networking and development for social workers from any specialization. The NASW seeks to expand the knowledge base of the social work field, contribute to the professional growth of its members, establish professional standards, and advocate for sound social policies. Member resources like liability insurance and risk management workshops can be accessed by individuals who are involved at the state or the national level.

Clinical Social Work Association

Forbes reports that many non-profit workers are concerned about the ways that current political trends may impact their organizations and job identities. The Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA) seeks to address these anxieties by positively contributing to strong identities for social work professionals in a clinical setting. The 30-year-old association seeks to advocate for its members’ quality of life in areas such as equity and pay. CSWA is open to student members and is an accessible pathway to aspiring clinical social workers who are just beginning their career.

School Social Work Association of America

The School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) provides resources and support for school social workers. Social workers who are in this professional association find materials, evaluation, and advocacy that empowers them to create more successful outcomes for education. Another important benefit of SSWAA is access to the liability insurance that is included with the cost of membership. Members also receive weekly updates about new developments in the field of school social work and technical assistance with relevant tools.

Society for Social Work Leadership in Healthcare

For social work professionals involved in healthcare, the Society for Social Work Leadership in Healthcare (SSWLH) is one of the most respected professional organizations in their field. Member workplaces include hospice centers, school clinics, hospitals, and managed care facilities. SSWLH members may attend conferences that center on the psychosocial aspects of healthcare and may participate in mentorship programs with other members of the organization. Another benefit of belonging to SSWLH is a subscription to their professional journal, “Social Work in Health Care.”

Latino Social Workers Organization

The Latino Social Workers Organization (LSWO) focuses on the recruitment and retention of Latino professionals in social work fields. Members of the LSWO can engage with students and future professionals in a mentorship relationship. Conferences and continuing education courses are valued by the organization as ways of achieving its goals.

Related Resource: Top 10 Best Online Social Work Degree Programs

These are just a few examples of the variety of social work organizations that exist to improve available resources for members. Professional associations for social workers continue to be an integral part of supported and successful work within the field.