WASHINGTON: The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has tapped Crosby Marketing Communications (CMC) to lead a national campaign that will attempt to change the way Americans view the profession.
"The term 'social worker' is used very generously," said Lahne Mattas-Curry, senior communications associate with NASW. "There are a lot of self-declared 'social workers' out there, but what people don't realize is that you have to go to school for many years and get a degree in order to be a social worker. It takes more than just a job helping people."
The three-year campaign will target the general public, opinion leaders, and particularly legislators who shape social policy. The objective is to increase the value placed on social workers - and in turn, the salaries they receive - by increasing people's understanding of what it takes to become one.
"Social workers are undervalued, underappreciated, and underpaid," said Raymond Crosby, president of CMC. "It's a profession that does amazing things for individuals and society as a whole, but our preliminary research shows that people don't understand the training and education required to become a social worker."
Crosby called the campaign's budget "substantial," though he and Mattas-Curry said no final numbers would be determined until the research phase was completed later this year.