Friday, April 16, 2010

Why I Belong

For years, I would not join the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), because I felt the dues were out of line with what I earned as a social worker... Eventually, through a series of steps and good fortune, I was able to make a salary as a social worker that allowed me some discretionary funds, and one of the things I did was to join the National Association of Social Workers.

I do not necessarily agree with the policies, politics, or practice of National Association of Social Workers.  I certainly think the dues are too high.  I think their billing practices are questionable:  in addition to the dues, they add in all the "suggested" donations and send you a bill well inflated above the basic dues price.

I will not participate on the state or national level of NASW because of my disagreements about so many things that NASW does. 

So, why do I belong...On the local level, I am able to participate in regular meetings, networking, CEU opportunities.  When we have successful local activities, meetings, CEU workshops, I am so charged to be a part of that, that it makes being part of NASW exciting for me. I help with communications, I help with the workshop, and the feeling that I am giving back to my social work community is a great feeling. The feeling that I am part of a successful venture is important to me. 

Today was our annual CEU ethics workshop... The speaker talked about the ethics of self care.  She was a great speaker, the workshop was well organized, the facility was very good.  The weather was atrocious.  The speaker commented that she was surprised that so many people turned out in spite of the weather. That was a testimony to the reputation of the workshop, and more importantly, the reputation of the speaker.

An inspired activity was to hand out, as people left and received their CEU certificates, a flyer about our next meeting, and an NASW application...(Our membership is waning. I think that is a function of our economy:  people do not have discretionary funds, and agencies are cutting back on non-essentials, like paying for membership in professional organizations.)

So, it was a good day, a good workshop, a good outing for NASW... Whatever I think about NASW, it is a psychological boost to be part of a successful activity.



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