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Celebrating Social Work Month at Catholic Charities New York: Empowering Lives, Inspiring Change

Catholic Charities NY Social Workers gather in celebration of National Social Work Day 2024. Photo: Catholic Charities NY

During Social Work Month, we take the time to reflect on and celebrate the incredible contributions of dedicated social workers. It is a moment to come together, acknowledge their vital role in empowering others and themselves, and recognize their influence as agents of positive change. On World Social Work Day, commemorated on the 3rd Tuesday of March, Catholic Charities New York hosted an event to honor over 25 of our frontline warriors from several of our partner agencies who provide help and create hope in delivering our mission to serve others, under the theme “Buen Vivir: Shared Future for Transformative Change”!

As Catholic Charities’ Executive Director, Monsignor Kevin Sullivan expressed, the work performed by social workers is truly incredible. They navigate some of the most challenging issues with compassion and provide the support that people need to overcome obstacles. “I think that the work that you do is incredible. You’re dealing with some of the most challenging issues where people need a little bit of help,” he said.

Social work is about embracing turbulence. We don’t shy away from it.

With over 3 million social workers worldwide and more than 700,000 active professionals in the United States alone, the impact of their work spans various fields, including healthcare, community development, advocacy, and education. Social Workers strive to do one thing and one thing only – Help to improve the lives of others.At Catholic Charities New York, our social workers embody these principles in their diverse roles, whether it be in case management, clinical practice, supervision, research, advocacy, or education. Our Director of Case Management, Debra Presti-Eschen, articulated the essence of social work beautifully, stating, “Social work is about embracing turbulence. We don’t shy away from it.”

United by a shared commitment to empowerment, social justice, and respect, our social workers strive to make a positive impact, one person and one community at a time. Through our comprehensive services in healthcare, housing, mental health, and community development, we aim to instill hope and provide assistance to those in need.

It’s about humankind and human connection.

Cortez Stallings, Deputy Director at NYC Department of Youth & Community Development, stated “With social work, there is a balance and hopefully we will seek it.”Social work is about helping others and building relationships. Kimberly Olund, the Special Projects Coordinator at Catholic Charities, is currently earning her MSW in Social Work and embodies this ethos. “It’s about humankind and human connection.”

Join Catholic Charities New York in honoring Social Work Month as we celebrate the remarkable work of social workers and the transformative impact they have on individuals, families, and communities. Together, let us continue to inspire change, empower lives, and shape a brighter tomorrow, not just within our organization’s walls but far beyond, throughout the broader community.