This Year's Theme
Social Work Week:
March 7-13, 2016
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Theme: Social Workers
Issues Into Answers
Real Experts for Real Life
The theme and tagline for Social Work Week (SWW) 2016 mirror
that of OASW's newly launched Marketing Campaign. While Social Work
Week provides an important vehicle to celebrate the profession's
accomplishments, it also affords a significant opportunity to raise
the profile of the profession, especially with members of the
public who have never used social work services.
All too often, members of the public know little about our
profession or hold narrow, inaccurate and/or unfavourable
impressions of social workers. Changing this perception, and
increasing the public's awareness of our scope of practice, is
crucial to the funding of social work services and the health and
sustainability of our profession.
Poster for Social
Work Week 2016
The SWW/marketing poster/ad that OASW has produced has 4
different versions. While the text remains the same, the image
changes and shows four individuals at varying life stages. The
positioning of the images and the text, "Turn Issues Into
Answers", is intended to grab the public's
attention. The tagline "Social Workers: Real Experts for
Real Life" reflects that a core competence of
social workers is the ability to anticipate, address and facilitate
practical solutions for costly and important social issues that
affect people's day-to-day lives.
Workers Are Experts
Do social workers have the right to refer to themselves as
"experts"? The public thinks so! A market research firm tested the
ads with the public to see how the images and messages affected
their perception of social workers and their willingness to
consider seeking social work services for themselves or encouraging
a family member or friend to do so. The public's reaction to the
images and messages was positive, and feedback was incorporated in
the finalized ads/posters.
Where does social work expertise come from? Our profession's
unique education, understanding of systems, grounding in the social
determinants of health and strengths-based approach ideally
position social workers to assist members of the public in finding
answers to issues they want to resolve.
Here's How You
Perception of Social Workers
Leading up to, and during Social Work Week, here is how you and
colleagues within your agency/ organization can play a critical
role in raising the profile of the profession:
- Add "Social Workers: Real Experts for Real Life" to your
- Share the ads on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
- Circulate one of the ads to five of your colleagues and ask
them to do the same.
- Order poster size ads from OASW and post them
on community and staff bulletin boards.
- Ask that they be included in a workplace
- Ask colleagues in other settings to do the same thing.
- Complete OASW's "I Declare" Survey (8-10 seconds) to let us
know you participated.
Changing the public's perception of the
profession will not be a quick
It will take time, collective action and persistence. We do not
have a choice. It needs to happen.
As a profession, we're excellent
advocates for our clients. It's time for us to be excellent
advocates for our profession.
We are counting
on your support!