Social Workers Have a Lot to Learn
That’s why they are good role models for the rest of us when it comes to continuing education (CE). Held to high standards when it comes to ongoing learning, social workers and counselors are driven to stay current on best practices. They are also becoming more and more creative about how they meet their CE requirements.
Similar to a lot of people, mental health professionals are trying to squeeze more and more into impossibly tight schedules these days. This could have a profoundly negative effect on their ability to study, but instead of trying to attend courses in-person they are using technology to enable education-time where and when it’s most convenient. Specifically, they are attending courses and events online.
Many social workers and counselors have their professional associations to thank for this ability to take courses at home, or just about anywhere for that matter. This is because major mental health professional organizations, like the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), have taken up the challenge. NASW has always been a critical resource for CE, but now they are providing those resources in ways that can reach more people, when and how it’s convenient for the participant. These are social work practitioners who might not otherwise be able to participate in important educational programming if not for remote viewing options.
Both the national organization and most of the state chapters are involved in NASW’s push for online learning and we are excited to be a part of this new CE initiative. In just a short time, NASW National has added several dozen courses to its online catalog. Chapters like Texas, Washington State, and Pennsylvania already have hundreds of courses to offer.
This move to online education fills a critical need for easily accessible ongoing learning. Simply put online education helps practitioners stay current and, in turn, helps their clients. And, as you would expect from a professional group that ascribes to the belief that, “The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well being and meet the basic human needs of all people…” the majority of the courses being created, by both the NASW and by specialized content developers, are focused directly on pressing client issues. Courses cover topics from addiction, ADHD, and Autism to PTSD, suicide, stress, veteran’s issues, and many other subject areas. The number of ethics courses is also being expanded, as states increase ethics training requirements. And, we are seeing more courses geared toward helping social workers maintain their own health and well being--an important consideration in a profession focused on helping others overcome difficult challenges. In all cases, online courses help practitioners expand their knowledgebase without the taking days away from the office.
Social workers do have a lot to learn and NASW, their primary professional organization, is doing their part to support the professional growth and development of all of its members. They are taking real action with respect to their charter which calls for them to “help maintain professional standards and advance sound social policies.” This is world-changing work. So we’re very happy to be able to support their effort with our technology, services, and experience.