Dear Social Work TIG Members,
As the NASW says: “Social workers touch lives.” According to the Census Bureau and US Postal Service researchers, there are between 600,000 and 800,000 social workers in practice across our nation. It is very likely that every American will be touched by our work somehow during the course of their lives, whether it’s at a hospital discharge, through school guidance, involvement with our protection or advocacy duties, or through our research and teaching. We are a broad profession with a common set of ethics and values, grounded in empowerment and social justice for marginalized populations.
Ours is an applied profession, and our evaluations, though they run the gamut of topics, are imbued with our values, as Social Workers and as Evaluators. How do we decide whose interests are the most important in our evaluations? What responsibilities do we have to give voice to underrepresented populations, and to those who cannot speak for themselves? What is our responsibility to evaluate our programs for efficacy, effectiveness, and equity? Who decides which stakeholders’ contributions are valued?
Let’s take an opportunity to share with our colleagues that this is an area where Social Work is not only knowledgeable, but deeply relevant, and that our profession represents a cornerstone in the upholding of our societal values and responsibilities to our citizens.
We wish you all a bountiful year, filled with opportunity, and look forward to seeing you all at the Annual Conference in October!