“Social workers make a positive impact on the lives of millions of Americans each day,” Angelo McClain, PhD, LICSW, NASW’s chief executive officer said.

“Legislators such as social workers Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and Rep. Barbara Lee of California help guide health care and mental health care legislation and other legislation through Congress that help the well-being of many.”

“You also have social workers who work with individuals, families and communities improve their quality of life,” he said.

Social work is a fast-growing profession with more than 680,000 social work professionals in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Clinical social workers are the largest group of mental health providers in the United States.

Social workers are trained to look at situations in a holistic way, helping bring together people and communities to find ways to address pressing individual, group and societal issues such as hunger, affordable housing, equal rights for all and making social institutions more responsive to people’s needs.

Social workers also follow the NASW Code of Ethics, which calls on members of the profession to enhance human well-being and meet the basic needs of all people, with particular attention on the needs and empowerment of those who are vulnerable, oppressed or living in poverty.