Social Workers Honored for Contributions to Well-Being of NC’s Children and Families

smiling female analyst in consultation with senior

March 20, 2019 – NC Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, MD, delivered the keynote address in early March to a group of nearly 200 social workers and social work students at the N.C. Museum of History as part of Social Work Advocacy Day. 

The event was in celebration of National Social Work Month in North Carolina, proclaimed by Governor Roy Cooper.

Last year North Carolina’s thousands of social workers helped more than 11,000 children in foster care either reunite with their families or find permanent homes through adoption. They prepared teens for adulthood and investigated potential cases of child abuse or neglect.

In comments to the group at the museum, Secretary Cohen reflected on the importance and difficulty of the work that social workers do.
“Social work is such a hard and thankless job,” she said on March 6. “I and the department really appreciate the work you’re doing.”

Secretary Cohen spoke about the importance of “buying health” in North Carolina, by focusing DHHS efforts on Medicaid transformation, the opioid crisis, and early childhood health and education.

“We need to do a better job of linking what’s going on with our healthcare system with what’s happening in the communities,” she said.

Throughout Social Work Advocacy Day social workers found opportunities to meet with their legislators to talk about the issues they encounter every day, and to hear about what legislators will focus on during this legislative session. 

The Governor’s proclamation highlights the efforts of social workers in support of children and families, and in the provision of mental health and substance use services, and in the service to military veterans. 

For more information on Social Work Month, visit the website of the National Association of Social Workers, North Carolina Chapter.

Ryan Hill