By Holly A. Hartman, MSW, LSW
As social workers, most of us are neither rich nor famous. Our efforts on behalf of others rarely, if ever, make the headline news. Yet to the clients we serve each day, we are heroes.
To those who are in distress or pain, we are the compassionate ears that empathically listen as they share things with us that others are unwilling or unable to hear. We are their heroes.
To those who have been stigmatized we are the discerning eyes that see the worth, dignity, and beauty of the person they really are beneath surface appearances or behaviors. We are their heroes.
To those who have been marginalized and who are voiceless - who feel like no one cares - we are the loving heart that radiates unconditional acceptance, caring, and concern. We are the strong voice that advocates on their behalf and the empowering champion who teaches them how to self-advocate. We are their heroes.
To those who have been traumatized, we are the healing presence that restores their sense of safety and self-efficacy by providing them with crisis intervention, therapy, and corrective emotional experiences. We are their heroes.
To those with mental illness, we are the supportive case managers and therapists who provide them with services and treatments that facilitate their recovery and that enhance their quality of life. We are the advocates who work to ensure that their human rights are respected. We are their heroes.
To those recently released after incarceration, we are the helpful counselors who assist them with reintegration into family and community life. We are their heroes.
To those who are disadvantaged, we are the teachers who help them learn life skills that move them beyond what seemed to them to be insurmountable obstacles. We are their heroes.
To those who are desperate and who require assistance to get their basic needs met, we are the kind hands that reach out and lift them up by connecting them with life-saving and life-enhancing resources. We are their heroes.
To those who feel overwhelmed, helpless, and hopeless, we are the gentle guides who lead them to discovery of their strengths, their greatness, and their true potential. We are their heroes.
To those who are isolated and immobilized, we are the patient and persistent partners who help them find ways to connect with others and to share their unique gifts – the gifts they were born to bring into our world. We are their heroes.
To those who rely on our social service systems and institutions to provide them with the resources and services they need, we are the dedicated administrators, managers, supervisors, and workers who ensure that high quality services are delivered to them. We are their heroes.
For those to whom this world seems to be a cold, cruel, and harsh place, we are the living proof that compassion, kindness, and caring are alive and well on this planet. We are their source of help and we are their beacon of hope. We are their heroes.
As social workers, we are someone’s hero every day. We’re EVERYDAY HEROES. And as such, we are proud of our profession.