Home » TheSWEducator » Words of Gratitude to Social Workers around the World

Words of Gratitude to Social Workers around the World

Oleksandr (Sasha) Kondrashov, Ph.D., MSW, RSW

April 2020

Thank you:

  1. To the social worker who advocates that every homeless person has a place to call home.
  2. To the social worker who assists agencies in rethinking policies and practices.
  3. To the social worker who becomes the informal support group for colleagues struggling with remaining sober and wanting to quit their essential job.
  4. To the social worker who can feel their spirit breaking.
  5. To the social worker who can no longer breathe on their own.
  6. To the social worker who chooses the profession, not because of income but for an outcome.
  7. To the social worker who collects and analyzes data from COVID-19 driven research.
  8. To the social worker who conducts community assessments to be better prepared for the future waves of COVID-19.
  9. To the social worker who didn’t pack lunch today because their work schedule does not permit time to buy groceries.
  10. To the social worker who engages in both anti-oppressive and anti privileged work.
  11. To the social worker who engages in political activism to ensure everyone is included in income security support programs.
  12. To the social worker who facilitates grief groups and individual therapy for the multiple kinds of loss experienced.
  13. To the social worker who finds resources for those who have none.
  14. To the social worker who has a spouse also on the front lines.
  15. To the social worker who has arrived at a shift with 8 call outs.
  16. To the social worker who has been admitted to the ICU.
  17. To the social worker who has been denied COVID- testing.
  18. To the social worker who has been living out of a motel to avoid infecting their family.
  19. To the social worker who has been made to feel like their life does not matter.
  20. To the social worker who has been referred to as, “just a social worker”.
  21. To the social worker who has been told to cohort the cancer patient with the suspected COVID patient, because there’s just no more space.
  22. To the social worker who has had no food or drink their entire shift.
  23. To the social worker who has no childcare but must report to work.
  24. To the social worker who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  25. To the social worker who has worked 4, 5, 6, 7 consecutive, 12-hour shifts.
  26. To the social worker who has not hugged their family in weeks.
  27. To the social worker who helps children readjust to school after an extended absence.
  28. To the social worker who helps comfort families after the death of a loved one.
  29. To the social worker who is a single parent and has had to send their kid away to live with relatives.
  30. To the social worker who is active in the union and spends off days writing up Demands and Calls to Action to ensure safety for all.
  31. To the social worker who is afraid to bring home the pain of clients and their families.
  32. To the social worker who is an unsung hero and angel of mercy but paid less than almost every other healthcare professional with a university degree.
  33. To the social worker who is battling their depression and anxiety.
  34. To the social worker who is being reassured by leadership shift. after shift that PPE stockpiles exist… somewhere and social workers can access them too.
  35. To the social worker who is diabetic and now their glucose is low.
  36. To the social worker who is emotionally conflicted about how to balance personal care with that of clients and community ethically.
  37. To the social worker who is immunocompromised, but can’t help but feel like failing coworkers by not coming to work in an emergency shelter.
  38. To the social worker who is not being offered mental health support.
  39. To the social worker who is not recognized by the media and the public for providing essential services.
  40. To the social worker who is on a travel assignment and nowhere close to their loved ones.
  41. To the social worker who is part of the palliative (hospice) care team and provides end of life supports for clients.
  42. To the social worker who is pregnant and feels guilty for not accepting COVID clients.
  43. To the social worker who is protecting children in times of neglect.
  44. To the social worker who is running out of sick leave.
  45. To the social worker who is skilled in operating the naloxone kit and is not afraid to do it during the pandemic.
  46. To the social worker who is supporting victims of family violence
  47. To the social worker who is thinking about putting in their resignation.
  48. To the social worker who just graduated and is in their first year of social work practice.
  49. To the social worker who leads conversations about how social service providers can develop trauma-informed care in the face of widespread community trauma.
  50. To the social worker who must find their voice and now use their client advocacy skills for themselves.
  51. To the social worker who now has skin breakdown from prolonged mask use.
  52. To the social worker who offers online/telehealth and e-counselling.
  53. To the social worker who offers remote students placements.
  54. To the social worker who only sheds tears in the shower so that it can drain with the water.
  55. To the social worker who protects children, isolated seniors, and families who are experiencing trauma.
  56. To the social worker who provides free consultation to other social workers and human service professionals.
  57. To the social worker who provides hope in times of multiple losses.
  58. To the social worker who provides linkage to resources for colleagues and their families.
  59. To the social worker who realizes the public did not know what social workers, “do,” even now.
  60. To the social worker who shares the news to the family that loved once passed away as a result of COVID-19.
  61. To the social worker who stayed up last night sewing together pieces of fabric so that they’d have a mask.
  62. To the social worker who stepped outside to catch their breath but instead ended up pulling an unconscious person out of a car.
  63. To the social worker who strips in garages and shower before starting dinner for their families every night.
  64. To the social worker who supports people in corrections.
  65. To the social worker who supports people who have fallen into depression and substance abuse.
  66. To the social worker who teaches remotely and support their students to become the best social workers.
  67. To the social worker who was just intubated by another health care professional.
  68. To the social worker who was laid off due to funding cuts for what government classified as a non-essential service.
  69. To the social worker who was told they signed up for this.
  70. To the social worker who was verbally assaulted doing child protection work.
  71. To the social worker who woke up in the middle of the night with a fever and cough.
  72. To the social worker who woke up to a text message that another one of their coworkers has died.
  73. To the social worker who wonders if this is how they treat “heroes.”
  74. To the social worker who wonders well what about the CASW Code of Ethics, you know, values 2 and 3: service to humanity and social justice?
  75. To the social worker who works in health teams.
  76. To the social worker who worries about their families, friends, and coworkers.
  77. To the social workers who are there to make life worth living.

Every day, social workers provide essential services to help the most vulnerable members of society. Every day, social workers show up more capable, stronger, and braver than the day before.

My name is Sasha. I am a registered social worker and social work educator.
To the social workers all around the world, I feel you.
I share your pain. I have your back.
You are me. I am you. We are each other.
Let’s share with society our truths.

This is the Year of the Social Worker.
Never again will you be, “just a social worker”`

Copy and paste in your newsfeed, add your name to the list, share your story, make your voice heard. Can we get to 100 reasons for saying thank you to social workers in times of pandemic? Support social workers and other essential service workers to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Words of gratitude to social workers was inspired by heartful tribute to all nurses around the world posted on kidspot.com.ua and myrnao.ca  as well as a love letter to social workers written by Melanie Sage and posted on Linkedin


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