Celebrating Social Workers

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HSC is helping celebrate this year’s Social Work Month. The theme “Social Work Breaks Barriers” features the many ways in which social workers have helped people, including South Dakotans, overcome challenges so they can have a better quality of life.

Social workers are on the frontlines helping others overcome many of life’s challenges, including poverty, physical illness, unemployment, abuse, discrimination, disabilities, and behavioral health challenges. For more than a century, they’ve helped break barriers that have led to the creation of benefits such as minimum wage, a 40-hour work week, and the implementation of Social Security benefits.

Some things to know about social work:

  • The social work field covers a broad range of careers that are perfect for people who want to make a difference in their community.
  • Social workers work everywhere – hospitals, behavioral health providers, child welfare agencies, schools, veteran centers, and in local, state and federal government. 
  • Social workers are the largest group of behavioral health providers in the U.S., working daily to help people overcome substance use disorders and mental illness.
  • Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • There were more than 715,000 social work jobs in 2020 and the profession is expected to grow by 12% by 2030.

Social work continues to grow every year. While it is true that it can be emotionally challenging, those in the field will tell you that the rewards are worth it. To learn more about Social Work Month and the wide range of careers in this field, visit https://www.socialworkers.org/News/Social-Work-Month.

To learn about employment opportunities in social work at HSC, visit https://bhr.sd.gov/job-seekers/.


The mission of the Human Services Center (HSC) is to provide individuals who are mentally ill or chemically dependent with effective, individualized professional treatment enabling them to achieve their highest level of personal independence in the most therapeutic environment.


To read previous editions of the Mental Health Memo visit https://dss.sd.gov/keyresources/news.aspx#mhmemo .