Toward the end of every year, we like to step back and take a look at the social work profession through a longer lens. Social workers, like all busy professionals, tend to get buried in the minutiae of their work and lose sight of the bigger picture. We find that it helps our colleagues to maintain perspective by taking an annual long look at the profession as a whole and the important work that social workers are engaged in.
The Social Worker Corp -2021
- There are over 188,401 Licensed Social Workers currently employed in the United States.
- 77.8% of them are women.
- The average age of a Licensed Social Worker is 45 years old, and the most common ethnicity is White (65.8%), followed by Black or African American (17.4%) and Hispanic or Latino (11.3%).
- The majority of Licensed Social Workers are located in New York City and Columbus, Ohio. Based on its population, New York City makes sense, but we’re not sure why Columbus, Ohio runs a close second.
- In 2021, Licensed Social Workers were paid an average annual salary of $55,840. Sacramento, CA holds the record paying an annual average wage of $80,004, the highest in the US.
- 5% of all Social Workers have an associate degree while 55% have a bachelor’s degree, 38% have a master’s degree and 1% hold a doctorate in social work.
The Mission of HHS
In our opinion the great work that social workers who staff the Department of Health and Human Services do is obscured by contentious political debate. This year we would like to highlight the thousands of social workers who are the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Listen to the invitation that is front and center on the HHS website:
Come to work with a mission. Help eradicate HIV/AIDS, prevent the spread of Malaria and Ebola, find the cure for cancer, provide healthcare to underserved communities, stop the opioid epidemic, and make food and drugs safe for the public.
There are eleven separate agencies that make up the Department of Health and Human Services. From SAMHSA (Substance abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) to the National Institute of Health, the Indian Health Service, HRSA, the CDC, the ACL, the ACF, the U.S. Public Health Service, and the FDA, HHS is the most comprehensive social services agency in the world.
What Social Workers Do at HHS
Social workers at HHS design, administer, and execute in the field a long litany of services supporting our most vulnerable populations.
- Social workers in ACF’s Office of Refugee Resettlement are committed to the quality care of unaccompanied children, for example.
- They administer the enormous TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program commonly called, welfare.
- Social workers at the USDA help recipients access the lifesaving SNAP (Food stamps) program.
- At Head Start they promote school readiness of children under five from low-income families.
- Child Support Enforcement workers at HHS partner with federal, state, tribal and local governments to promote parental responsibility.
- HHS workers provide access to affordable, high-quality early care and after school programs.
- The Children’s Bureau staff provides foster care resources and supports programs to help eliminate barriers to adoption.
- Home Visiting Programs improve the health of at-risk children by reaching pregnant women, expectant fathers, parents, and caregivers of children under five.
- Home Energy Assistance - LIHEAP - workers help low-income households get financial assistance for home heating.
- Programs for Persons with Disabilities offer resources to support persons with disabilities.
- Programs for Seniors of all kinds are supported by HHS social workers.
- HHS staffers manage programs for homeless assistance.
- HHS social workers support Military Families in all cases of loss and want from military service.
Only time and space prevent us from adding to this list. We often overlook the vast scope of HHS's mission and the profound contribution that all social workers are making to our civilization. You all are making a difference...of that you can be certain.
If you have enjoyed reading this blog, then don't stop here! Please click "what social workers do" to read more informative articles. Enjoy our content? Then please subscribe for instant, weekly or monthly updates!