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NASW Ohio Responds to newspaper’s misuse of social work title

Danielle Smith. Photo courtesy of NASW Ohio  Chapter.

Danielle Smith. Photo courtesy of NASW Ohio Chapter.

The National Association of Social Workers Ohio Chapter has sprung into action to protest the Cleveland Plain Dealer flagrant misuse of the social work title.

Newspaper columnist Ted Diadiun even wrote a column defending the newspaper’s habit of identifying people as social workers who are not members of the profession.

Diadiun argued that since the Cuyahoga County Department of Job and Family Services gave employees the title social worker even when they were not educated and licensed social workers, the newspaper should follow that agency’s lead.

NASW Ohio Chapter Executive Director Danielle Smith, MSW, MA, LSW, wrote a June 11 editorial about why the newspaper’s policy is flawed. Here is part of what Smith wrote:

Use of the (social work)  title should be restricted to those who have fulfilled the education and licensure requirements. That protects the public by ensuring that the standards of the social work profession are met by every practitioner. We support pending state legislation to limit the use of the title to only those with a license.

Cheers to Smith and the NASW Ohio Chapter for organizing a campaign to protect the social work title!

The National Association of Social Workers is building a campaign to educate the media to clarify use of the social worker title and prevent social workers from being misidentified in the media. To learn more click here to read an NASW News blog on the campaign.

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