Many Social Work organizations and resources are available for students and professionals. Social work can be challenging to navigate with so many aspects of the jobs to consider. Law, community, and also education are broad concerns in the career of a social worker. Below is a list of ten valuable organizations and associations that provide numerous services, boundless resources, opportunities for networking, guidance for students studying social work, and links and information to keep updated with the latest studies, research, and legislation available.
1. Council on Social Work Education
The Council on Social Work Education is a nonprofit association that connects social work education programs, professionals, and students by building a network of knowledge and experience. Furthermore, CSWE offers resources to social workers, educators, and students to pursue information in their profession or education. CSWE is the governing body that sets the accreditation standards for social work education programs and oversees the accreditation process to ensure compliance with guidelines and procedures. Additionally, annual meetings allow members and participants to share different educational methods, networking opportunities, and job information for recent graduates.
The Council operates its own publishing press, known as CSWE Press. These publications focus on providing information in various categories, including theory, learning strategies and teaching techniques, and philosophy. CSWE Press is also responsible for the Journal of Social Work Education publication. In addition, students can find fellowship and scholarship information through CSWE, keep abreast of upcoming conferences and new programs, and use the counsel as a networking hub to connect with mentors and fellow students studying and working in the social work field. CSWE connects with the international social working community as well. International conferences are hosted with the assistance of the CSWE.
2. National Association of Social Workers
The National Association of Social Workers (or NASW) is an organization of professional social workers, boasting the largest membership rates in the world. Although a single organization, NASW has chapters located in New York City, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and an international chapter. Each year an annual conference focuses on a central theme where attendees can explore different vendors and informational booths.
NASW offers help with education and training, obtaining credentials, and is also a job-seeking forum on which to post a resume for potential employers to view. The association prints its own newspaper, journals, and also publishes reference books about specific topics in the field of social work. NASW also promotes advocacy programs and initiatives through literature and contact with Congress.
Information about social work as a profession is provided to prospective students and interested parties and services for established social workers in need of legal aid or information on legislation pertaining to the social work field. Membership to NASW is available to both professionals and students. Additionally, a “two-for-one” membership admits a new member to the national organization and their local chapter without paying extra fees.
3. Society for Social Work and Research
The Society for Social Work and Research is a nonprofit organization that champions research in social work. Members from 45 states participate in the organization and several countries, including Australia, Israel, and Taiwan. SSWR holds an annual conference with exhibits, speakers, and also workshops for attendees. Furthermore, the organization maintains a resource center for doctoral candidates to help with topic research, stress management, and guidance for beginning a career in social work and making professional decisions.
The Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, or JSSWR, is an electronic journal produced by the SSWR. The publication focuses on research results, studies, and the psychology and implementation of social work. In addition, SSWR has instituted the National Research Capacity Building Initiative. The initiative aims to advocate for research and garner support for future research endeavors.
SSWR maintains several blogs on its website involving topics related to social work networking, updating information about government legislation and social work, and a blog for special interest discussions.
4. School Social Work Association of America
The School Social Work Association of America is an organization for social workers that work in a school setting. SSWAA promotes positive support and effective behavioral techniques for social workers working with students, teachers, parents, and other staff. In addition, the SSWAA offers chapters by state, region, and international association. The Association’s website offers multiple resources for grief counseling, crisis intervention, and emergency strategies that could relate to school situations.
SSWAA provides resources for research, advocacy, policy, and media archives. Membership benefits include reduced fees, annual conferences, and discounts on relevant publications. Uniquely, SSWAA also provides malpractice insurance with yearly dues.
5. Clinical Social Work Association
The Clinical Social Work Association specializes in providing assistance and information to practicing clinical social workers. Malpractice insurance information, clarifications in understanding HIPAA standards, licensure advice, and how-to procedures for patient insurance and paperwork are resource materials for members. Members include students, practicing professionals, and retired clinical social workers. CSWA also publishes the Clinical Social Work Journal and accesses the CSWA newsletter. Newsletter articles are available online.
Additionally, members have access to a telephone helpline for questions or concerns about practices and issues that may arise in their work. CSWA keeps up to date with the new legislature and government policies and regularly posts news alerts and adds links to pertinent articles and announcements from other websites. There is also a job board available and a forum for feedback from members commenting on articles posted every month for conversation and opinions.
6. American Council for School Social Work
The American Council for School Social Work is an advocacy group that supports social workers involved in schools. It provides tools, resources, and services to assist in achieving their goals and making a positive influence on schools, students, teachers, and parents. ACSSW publishes a weekly newsletter with a free trial subscription for non-members. Members may apply at any stage of their career (student, beginning social worker, seasoned professional, or retiree) and enjoy membership benefits. In addition to resource guides and advocacy connections, ACSSW publishes several journals and articles.
ACSSW also provides links to resources for educators and parents for complex situations that students may face in a school setting. Topics cover learning disabilities, violence involving children, and support groups online for anonymity.
7. Journal of Social Works Values and Ethics
JSWVE is an online publication that focuses on social work, research studies, and theories. The journal also presents historical information and the discipline’s development to understand better the background of social work and the innovation of ethics in social work.
The journal’s archived database includes both book reviews and social work topics of interest. There is also a free e-mail subscription for news articles or newsletter notifications. In addition, the website provides a link for manuscript submissions to the journal with formatting guidelines and policies.
8. American Board of Clinical Social Work
The American Board of Clinical Social Work is an organization that sets the standards for clinical social work, distributing credentials to qualified candidates, board certification processes, and resources. Furthermore, the ABCSW website allows for online recertification, credential verification, access to publication materials, insurance discounts, networking, and other valuable information. ABCSW annually displays BCD (Board Certified Diplomate) revocation, and a link to reinstatement forms to request certification be granted once more.
ABCSW offers promotional discounts for both insurance and online programs. However, it is not a traditional member organization. So, there are no dues or conferences. This site is to merely help with credentials and certification through the proper channels.
9. Association of Social Work Boards
The Association of Social Work Boards is a comprehensive collection of resources for prospective and also current social workers. The association provides documents for licensing exams, handbooks, practice tests, rules and guidelines, study preparation, and test statistics. The ASWB also publishes an online newsletter, Association News, and delivers group e-mails.
Additionally, the association participates in the ACE program and has the most up-to-date exam and licensing information for members. The ASWB also keeps a social worker registry and a search engine to look up licensed social workers online.
10. International Association of Schools of Social Work
The International Association of Schools of Social Work is an organization of social workers, educators, and schools associated with social work globally. Representatives of the IASSW participate on committees affiliated with the United Nations and provide funds in the form of grants for proposed projects related to the advancement in social work. In addition, the IASSW connects social work practices, education, and laws through the experience and dedication of international experts and practitioners.