People – especially children – with disabilities often face a unique set of challenges in their everyday lives and need to receive services is a variety of settings. Professionals who hold a master’s or bachelor’s in social work help individuals with disabilities in a variety of ways.
“In CRS, our social workers help our families to identify access and utilize resources,” said Kimberly Lewis, CRS care coordination program specialist. “Our social workers all tackle a range of other issues on the job, from financial, educational, social, and recreational concerns. Essentially, their job is to establish a plan for success.”
Lewis said that social work is most frequently associated with child abuse cases, and people who are not familiar with the occupation often have misconceptions about what they do to improve a situation.
Social workers who assist people with disabilities can have varied roles, with some providing counseling, and others ensuring access to stable housing or employment opportunities.
“There’s a lot more to the social work profession than what takes place in cases of abuse or neglect,” said Lewis. “If you have a child with a disability, you probably will want to find out more about resources available to you, and that’s exactly where our social workers come into the picture.”
CRS social workers work in the clinic setting to make recommendations to assist families in coordination with medical advise from doctors and nurses, Lewis said. Social workers are there to help set up appointments, answer questions, and work through problems. They are also huge advocates for kids, helping them at school and at home. Social workers strive to empower families and provide them with the tools they need to foster success.
Celebrated each March, National Professional Social Work Month is an opportunity for social workers to highlight their profession and their many contributions to better society. In short, they confront many challenging issues and develop solutions to help people reach their full potential.
“Your life can change in an instant,” Lewis said. “You never know if or when you’ll need the valuable expertise of a social worker and his or her unique contributions to make this world a better place.”
To all of ADRS’s hard-working social workers, thank you for what you do, and Happy Social Workers’ month.