March is Social Work Month, and the theme this year is “Empowering Social Workers.” Here at Say Yes Cleveland, we’re committed to recognizing the incredible impact social workers have on our community, especially within the educational landscape. Throughout the month, we’ll be highlighting the inspiring work of our very own Say Yes Cleveland Social Workers.

Today, we turn the spotlight on Anthony Hollins, a Family Support Specialist and Team Lead at Charles Dickens. Below, Anthony shares her valuable insights on empowering social workers and the ways they, in turn, empower the communities they serve.

In what ways do social workers play a crucial role in the success of students and schools?

Social workers are essential in schools because we help create safe spaces for students to thrive. We work closely with educators, supporting them in areas they may not reach. By linking families to resources, teaching prevention, and providing mental health support, we help students feel better, so they can do better in school.

What significance does Social Work Month hold for you?

Social Work Month is a great time for raising awareness about the diverse scope of our profession. It’s an opportunity to showcase that social workers aren’t confined to one setting but are instrumental in schools, hospitals, policymaking, and beyond. By highlighting the various roles and impact we have, we can educate others about the wide-reaching scope of social work and the vital contributions we consistently are making in society.

How can the community create a more empowering and supportive environment for social workers?

Supporting social workers involves respecting the time and effort we’ve invested in our education and professional development as health professionals. It’s crucial to honor our contributions to society and compensate our work equitably, similar to other healthcare professions. Recognizing the diversity of specialties within social work and understanding that we are skilled professionals can help combat the undervaluation often associated with our field. By acknowledging the importance of our role in promoting mental and emotional well-being, we can improve support for social workers and ensure that our contributions are properly recognized and respected.