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Social Workers Speak gives you a chance to influence how the entertainment industry and news media depicts the social work profession and issues that social workers care about.  

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) developed Social Workers Speak to enable social workers and the general public to critique and improve the way social workers and social issues are covered in the news media and portrayed in the entertainment industries.

The website is sponsored by the NASW Communications Network (NCN), which represents educators, researchers, practitioners and policymakers throughout the social work community. NCN was designed specifically to help producers and writers understand what social workers do and to ensure that social work issues are portrayed accurately in the entertainment media. Since being aligned with the NASW Foundation in 2008, NCN has co-sponsored a successful Hollywood forum with the Entertainment Industries Council on women’s health issues, and consulted with hundreds of journalists on numerous consumer and social issues.

NASW is helping to improve public understanding of the social work profession’s strengths and expertise.


  1. I would love to receive a monthly newsletter and reminders from your site. Is there one available? How do I sign up?

    Thank you!
    Christina D.
    MSW Student
    at Wayne State University
    Detroit, MI

  2. Congratulations on this website. I was involved with the NCN when it was first started during Sue Dworak-Peck’s NASW presidency…back in the 1980s, I think. We worked with various media to enhance the accuracy of the portrayal of social workers. I see more and more social work characters on TV and in movies now, but still, the social worker is often left out on medical shows, for example. This site will help bring attention to social workers and social issues in the media.

    Linda Grobman, MSW, LSW, ACSW
    Publisher/Editor, THE NEW SOCIAL WORKER Magazine

  3. I am pleased to see a site that concerns intself with our profession and professional role in the media. I recall a TV show (maybe in the 80s) with George Scott called “East Side West Side.” I think it was an excellent portrayal of the social worker’s role as clinician and advocate. Also, I remember that the NASW (NASW NEWS) gave it good reviews at the time. Since then, there was a TV show in the 90s and into the first few years of 2000 in which a well known acress portrayed a social worker in a family agency or child protective agency. Cannot recall her name or the name of the program; however, it was a reasonable portrayal of the social worker’s role I thought.

  4. As I have expressed in a previous posting I am very happy about this site. If the organization moves forward with securing our professional title and banning any non-licensed, non-MSW from using the title social worker I am MORE THAN happy to get involved…email me….
    I will stand on capital hill:)

  5. Basically I just want to express my appreciation for this website. I believe it will play a positive role in advancing the profession on a number of different levels.

    Ernest A. Wahrburg, MSW, LCSW (NY & NC)

  6. More and more I’m working with forensic mentally ill clients. If I had known the necessity of taking criminal justice courses in graduate school, I would have gotten a dual degree. As the last of the State Hospitals are being closed, the prisons will be the new homes for many of the unmanageable mentally ill clients. I wonder what the pay scale is for social workers in the prison system?
    I’m currently nursing a big purple bruise on my leg where a client decided she didn’t like the way her family meeting was going, so she shoved the table into me. No, I didn’t press charges, although I’m sure the next person she injures won’t hesitate to educate her on assault charges and she will learn about the prison system first-hand.
    My boss made sure I knew it was a big deal to give me a 2% raise this year… We have to be the most disrespected of all professionals. And I must say, when people ask me about getting their social work degrees, I tell them to really think about not being able to afford to retire themselves, or not being able to send their own children to college.

  7. I really like the idea of a site that looks at how social workers are portrayed by the entertainment industry, in books, films, etc. The opportunity for social workers to provide feedback to writers and producers about the roles of social workers could be very useful and enlightening and our members with expertise in various areas would enjoy doing this. I also note, however, that we have a policy manual called Social Work Speaks that could be integrated into this project, so that the public as well as social workers can refer to this document for guidance. It would be excellent to weave it into this website as a research component because it is not well known to even many of our members and I expect that site will be popular so that people will refer to it frequently. The various articles could provide links that reference the various parts of the policies so that people will get used to asking the question – what is the policy and what does the profession have to say about this?

    Best wishes and keep up the good work!

  8. I think it’s a tragedy that when a Social Worker begins to hold higher degrees or licenses, that they forget where they originally came from-a BSW.
    I have a BSW and I AM A SOCIAL WORKER. I do my job day in and out. I follow the Code of Ethics. I keep up with the NASW, in fact I’m a member. I pay my dues; I do my research. I read the journals and apply it to my practice when appropriate. I keep a mentor and have clients who count on me.
    I may not have an MSW or my license. But maybe part of that is because in this economy, I’m lucky I was able to finished my Bachelors.
    I am a social worker.

  9. i am glad this website is available. It’s a wonderful idea.

    Social Workers we must keep educating others about this wonderful profession!!!!!

  10. I too would love to receive a monthly newsletter and reminders from your site. Is there one available? How do I sign up?

  11. Thank you for the website. I would love to be a speaker on subjects that are pertinent to our wonderful profession. Anyone know how I could access these resources. Sometimes I feel some what fragmented about how we connect with each other on the web. This is a wonderful way for people in the field to know what other people and colleagues do and think. I want a news letter also. Thank-You LCSW

  12. Hi – I’m a big fan of this website and have referenced it many times. I run a blog dedicated to the profession as well, although mine is aimed more at aspiring social workers – i.e. people looking to get started in the industry. Do you allow guest posts on this site? Please feel free to email me anytime, and keep up the good work!

  13. Dear Colleagues,

    I am a psychiatric and medical Social Worker since 1999. I emigrated from Soviet Union in 1995. Since 2001 I am an American citizen. I like my job, I am very happy when I see the outcome of my Social Work intervention. Especially when my customers are being empowered, they are complying with the treatment and they become the valuable members of their communities.
    I also have a hobby. I am a writer. In June 2013 my book ” Just Touching the Memory” under my pen-name Lyudmila Noble was published and released to my potential readers. My book is a historical novel based on a true story. This book is very unique because it covers the most important historical period from 1972-1995 while there are some books about ancient Russia. It was the beginning of the collapse of the Empire of Evil as Mr.Ronald Regan, American President called USSR.
    In the light of the life of the professional woman I described and analyzed the real reasons of the massive emigration from the former Soviet Union. The interference of KGB, Communist Party, Soviet Government in every person’s life in every tiny level described in my book. The potential readers will see how successful professionals in the former USSR were treated: on the surface my main character had everything- family, children, husband, house, good position but it was the tip of the iceberg… Indeed it was a life full of horror…
    There are 32 chapters containing 462 pages in my book. Every chapter’s title is a translated into it’s English equivalent Russian proverb which accumulates the content of the chapter. Also it was quite a linguistic challenge for me to write my book in English since my mother tongue is Russian. I think my book will be a great resource not only for the Social Workers who have Russian-speaking patients, customers but also it is a good informative source for the Americans and other emigrant’s communities. My book is informative but yet pleasurable to read. The readers will be introduced to the culture, customs, cuisine, humor, mentality, etc. of the Soviet people.

    Thank you for your time.

    Hope to hear from you in the nearest future.

    Lyudmila Levy, LMSW

  14. Love this site. I am interested in become a Presenter for University, Regional Centers, Parenting Groups, Conferences and Mental Health organizations. I was wonder how much to charge for each session which would be about 2-hours. I am currently working for L.A. County as a program auditor for mental health agencies. I have read thousand of charts in the last 10 years and have seen a decline in clinical interventions that really impact the client’s functioning. It seems that there are more and more short cuts with documentation and treatment. I have noticed more and more families not showing up for sessions because they are not benefiting from the services. I thought if something wasn’t done soon our profession would loose good qualified therapist, so I created a training that helps social workers create good Assessments, Client Plans and Progress Notes that really get to the heart of treatment. I would like to share what i have gained with others, especially social workers on the front lines. If anyone can tell me how much to charge for speaking engagements please contact me.

  15. I would like to know if you would be interested in publishing any articles or reports by fellow social workers. I have written one regarding unaccompanied minors that I feel would be particularly prevalent with the things going on currently in our nation.

  16. Samantha:

    Thanks for contacting us. The National Association of Social Workers has a blog called SocialWorkPulse that lets social workers write about their experiences and views Please email me at for more information.

    Greg Wright
    Senior Communications and Public Relations Specialist

  17. I receive your monthly newsletter. How do I go about submitting an piece for the IN THE PUBLIC EYE section.

    Please feel free to contact my office at

    Oasis Behavioral Health Services

    William B. Webb, Ph.D., L.I.C.S.W, M.A.C.

  18. Mr. Webb:

    Please email NASW News Editor Laetitia Clayton at

    Greg Wright
    NASW Public Relations Manager

  19. Hi!

    I write a blog for social service workers, including social workers. My blog is the lighter side of social services and specifically addresses concerns/struggles/special interest/current events/humorous things as they relate to social service professionals. My main goal is to alleviate burnout that plagues our field.

    I would be thrilled to be able to contribute to your website! I could provide link backs and promotion of your website on my blog and social media (if you like, that is).

    You can check out my website at

    Thank you for your consideration…and I hope to hear back from you soon!


    Sara Dietrich

  20. Hi Sara:

    Please email NASW Public Public Relations Manager Greg Wright at


  21. I am an experienced LMSW and all I can say is that besides the burnout many experience,there is also the competition in an overly glutted field.And that is why we aren’t respected.There are fewer jobs for the many applicants that apply especially in big cities like New York.

  22. 2016 – New York University Silver School of Social Work awarded Social Worker, Pamela B. Brewer the Distinguished Alumna for her pioneering work in the provision of mental and relationship health education via MyNDTALK with Dr. Pamela Brewer which is now available on demand daily at

    MyNDTALK is now in its 21st year.

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