Welcome to The New Social Worker's Blog

The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Friday, November 25, 2011


What a week/weekend of traditions for so many! Please take a moment to share your traditions with us in the comment section below.

As for me, I spend the week in Ohio, where I grew up. Now that I live out of state, I travel first into Columbus to reunite with dear friends from undergrad and beyond, flitting from friend to friend and (luckily) favorite restaurant to favorite restaurant. Then I head up to Northeast Ohio on Tuesday so I am ready for my favorite holiday tradition of the year; co-running a soup kitchen.

We make everything from scratch, so it takes all day Wednesday and the entire morning Thursday to prepare the foods; dozens of turkeys, hundreds of pounds of potatoes peeled and mashed, real pumpkin meat and scented spices for the pies, loaves and loaves of bread baked. We've had mostly the same volunteers for quite some time now so it's also an annual reunion of sorts. I've watched adults' kids grow up, those same adults have watched me grow up, and every year it becomes even more fun to work as a well-oiled cooking/baking machine.

Thursday afternoon is the day we serve to those who choose to come to us and deliver to those who do not, as well as the local fire and police departments of 3 towns. It's beyond wonderful to get to provide something for those who risk their lives to provide safety to us. Thursday night is dinner with my fictive family, followed by an early morning (4am) drive to the airport.

To round out my tradition, I typically arrive back in NYC around 7am, head home, and proceed to "take a nap," which almost always results in my waking up 6-8 hours later.

What about you? What do you do each year?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Professional Associations

There have been lots of conversations in the past months about Unions and Professional Associations. Sometimes they stem from the political issues of voting on whether to curb the abilities of Unions for public service workers, sometimes from students who aren't sure whether spending the bit of money they have on a membership is worth the cost, and sometimes from those who are job seeking and wonder whether they ought to attend a meeting.

Where do you all stand? Are you members of NASW? Do you have other Professional Associations? Do you encourage others to join? Why or why not?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran's Day

Tough to know what to write on a day like today... this is often the place where we discuss the trials and difficulties of our work but on a day like today, it seems inappropriate. No matter how tough our work is (and no one's arguing that), we still get to come home every night, sleep next to or down the hall from loved ones, pet our dogs, order our take-out, and wind down with our favorite tv shows.

How lucky we are to be in the position to help others who are more in need than we are. How lucky we are to be able to do so without being shot at or bombed. How lucky we are to fall asleep each night without fear that we won't wake up again. How lucky we are that we get to vote, to follow our choice of career paths, to own property, and to shower under hot, clean water.

While the stress each feels is real because it is real to him/her, I hope everyone is taking extra time today to thank the military personnel of past and present for protecting us all. I hope you're remembering to show gratitude to those who sacrificed by supporting their soldier from here at home. I hope you're remembering to appreciate the gift each soldier gives us and that, regardless of your political opinions, you'll remember to give silent thoughts/prayers/nods to each person who stands guard somewhere in the world so that we are able to get up each morning and return to our work.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Job Searching

With so many people out of work, I thought we ought to bring that up here.

What are your experiences job hunting? Any tips or tricks to share? Rants or raves on the subject?