Social Workers still breaking barriers on behalf of others

At Saint Francis Ministries, we have lots of respect for social workers. Because they form the front line in our service to children and families, we see first-hand the challenges and sacrifices they face every day in their efforts to support the communities in which they serve and the lives they hope to change.

March is National Social Work Month, and the National Association of Social Workers’ theme this year is “Social Work Breaks Barriers,” which speaks volumes. Social workers work daily to break barriers that prevent individuals and communities from thriving.

What’s more, they’ve been doing it since the birth of the profession.

Just listen to what the National Association of Social Workers has to say:

“Social work has existed for more than a century. The profession can trace a large part of its origin to Jane Addams and Ellen Gates Star, who in 1889 opened Hull House in Chicago to provide social services to the area, which had a large immigrant population. Other social work pioneers include anti-lynching advocate and women’s rights activist Ida B. Wells, and George Edmund Haynes, a social worker who was co-founder of the National Urban League.

These and other social workers in history also were barrier breakers. Frances Perkins, the first female Labor Secretary during the Great Depression, and others helped secure benefits we continue to use today, such as the 40-hour workweek, minimum wage and Social Security benefits. Other social workers, like past NASW President Whitney M. Young Jr., worked in collaboration with President Lyndon B. Johnson and other leaders during the turbulent Civil Rights era to break down the barrier of employment discrimination so Black people could gain access to better paying jobs.”

Yet, they haven’t done it alone. Nor do they now. Social workers know better than anybody that it takes a community to build community. And social workers need partners within the community to ensure that children remain safe and that families remain whole.

Can you be one of those partners? Is there room in your day to support a program that serves the marginalized? Is there room in your community for deeper relationships and broken barriers to human well-being?

Learn about the vital work that Saint Francis social workers do every day on behalf of the children and families they serve at

Picture of Shane Schneider
Shane Schneider

Shane is the Editorial Content Manager for the Marketing and Communications Department at Saint Francis Ministries.

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