20 Top Professional Organizations for Social Workers

Social work is a profession that is dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities overcome challenges and improve their lives. As such, social workers play a crucial role in our society, providing essential services to those who need it most.

In this article, we cover professional organizations for social workers.

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However, social workers cannot do this important work alone. They require support, resources, and a community of like-minded professionals to learn from, share ideas with, and grow alongside. This is where professional organizations for social workers come in.

Professional organizations for social workers provide a variety of benefits to their members, including networking opportunities, access to continuing education and training, advocacy and lobbying efforts, and support for professional development.

The List of Professional Organizations for Social Workers

These organizations bring together social workers from all areas of the field, creating a community that shares a common goal of improving the lives of individuals and communities.

By joining a professional organization for social workers, professionals can enhance their skills and knowledge, stay up to date on the latest research and best practices, and connect with others who share their passion for social justice and positive change.

In this way, professional organizations for social workers play an essential role in advancing the profession and improving outcomes for those in need. Below are some of the top professional organizations for social workers.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW):

The NASW is the largest professional organization for social workers in the United States. It was founded in 1955 and has over 120,000 members. The NASW provides advocacy, professional development, and networking opportunities for its members.

It also sets ethical standards for the social work profession and promotes social justice and human rights. Find more information here.

Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB):

The ASWB is responsible for developing and administering the social work licensing exams in the United States and Canada. It also maintains a registry of licensed social workers and provides resources for social work regulatory boards.

The ASWB works to ensure that social workers meet the necessary standards to provide quality services to clients. Find more information here.

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Council on Social Work Education (CSWE):

The CSWE is the accrediting body for social work education programs in the United States. It sets standards for curriculum, faculty, and resources to ensure that social work students receive a high-quality education.

The CSWE also promotes research and scholarship in social work and advocates for social justice and human rights. Find more information here.

Society for Social Work and Research (SSWR):

The SSWR is a professional organization for social work researchers. It was founded in 1993 and has over 2,000 members. The SSWR promotes research and scholarship in social work and provides networking opportunities for social work researchers.

It also advocates for evidence-based practices and policies in social work. For more information visit: https://secure.sswr.org/

Clinical Social Work Association (CSWA):

The CSWA is a professional organization for clinical social workers. It was founded in 2006 and has over 2,000 members.

The CSWA provides advocacy, professional development, and networking opportunities for clinical social workers.

It also works to promote the recognition and value of clinical social work as a distinct profession. Website: https://www.adec.org/

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School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA):

SSWAA is a professional organization for social workers who work in school settings. It was founded in 1994 and has since then been dedicated to promoting the profession of school social work. SSWAA aims to improve the academic and social outcomes of students by providing support and resources to school social workers.

The organization advocates for policies and practices that recognize the important role of school social workers in promoting student success. Find more information here.

International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW):

IFSW is a global organization for social workers that was founded in 1928. It aims to promote social justice, human rights, and social development through the profession of social work. IFSW represents over 3 million social workers in more than 141 countries.

The organization advocates for policies and practices that recognize the important role of social workers in promoting social justice and improving the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Find more information here.

Association for Community Organization and Social Administration (ACOSA):

ACOSA is a professional organization for social workers who work in community organizations and social administration. It was founded in 1987 and has since then been dedicated to promoting social justice and social change through community organizing and social administration.

ACOSA provides resources and support for social workers who work in these areas and advocates for policies and practices that promote social justice and community empowerment. Find more information here.

National Organization of Forensic Social Work (NOFSW):

NOFSW is a professional organization for social workers who work in forensic settings. It was founded in 1989 and has since then been dedicated to promoting the profession of forensic social work. NOFSW provides resources and support for social workers who work in forensic settings, such as prisons, courts, and probation departments.

The organization advocates for policies and practices that recognize the important role of forensic social workers in promoting justice and improving the lives of individuals involved in the criminal justice system. Find more information here.

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National Association of Black Social Workers (NABSW):

NABSW is a professional organization for Black social workers that was founded in 1968. It aims to promote social justice and improve the lives of Black individuals, families, and communities through the profession of social work.

NABSW provides resources and support for Black social workers and advocates for policies and practices that recognize the unique experiences and needs of Black individuals and communities. The organization also promotes the recruitment and retention of Black social workers in the profession. Find more information here.

National Association of Puerto Rican/Hispanic Social Workers (NAPRHSW):

The National Association of Puerto Rican/Hispanic Social Workers (NAPRHSW) is a professional organization that represents social workers of Puerto Rican and Hispanic descent.

It aims to enhance the professional development of its members, promote the welfare of Puerto Rican and Hispanic communities, and advance the social work profession.

NAPRHSW provides a forum for networking, advocacy, and education, and it collaborates with other organizations to support the needs of Puerto Rican and Hispanic individuals and families. Find more information here.

Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW):

The Association of Oncology Social Work (AOSW) is a professional organization that represents social workers who provide services to individuals and families affected by cancer.

AOSW aims to promote excellence in psychosocial care for individuals and families affected by cancer, advance the field of oncology social work through education and research, and advocate for policies that support access to quality cancer care.

AOSW provides its members with resources, training, and networking opportunities to enhance their professional development. Find more information here.

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The Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups (AASWG):

The Association for the Advancement of Social Work with Groups (AASWG) is a professional organization that represents social workers who use group work as a method of practice.

AASWG aims to promote the development of group work as a modality of social work practice, advance research and education in group work, and advocate for policies that support group work as a means of promoting social change.

AASWG provides its members with opportunities for professional development, networking, and collaboration with other professionals who use group work as a method of practice. Find more information here.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO):

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is a professional organization that represents hospice and palliative care providers, including social workers.

NHPCO aims to promote quality end-of-life care for individuals and families facing life-limiting illnesses, advance the hospice and palliative care field through education and research, and advocate for policies that support access to quality end-of-life care. NHPCO provides its members with resources, training, and networking opportunities to enhance their professional development. Find more information here.

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National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a professional organization that represents individuals and families affected by mental illness, including social workers.

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NAMI aims to provide support, education, and advocacy for individuals and families affected by mental illness, advance research and public policies that promote access to quality mental health care, and reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.

NAMI provides its members with resources, training, and networking opportunities to enhance their professional development and promote the well-being of individuals and families affected by mental illness. Find more information here.

Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW):

The Association for Gerontology Education in Social Work (AGESW) is a professional organization that aims to improve the education and training of social workers who work with older adults.

AGESW works to enhance the understanding of aging and the needs of older adults and to promote the development of gerontological social work research, education, and practice. The organization also provides resources and support to social work educators and practitioners who work with older adults. Find more information here.

Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the American Psychological Association):

The Society for Humanistic Psychology is a division of the American Psychological Association (APA) that focuses on the humanistic and existential approaches to psychology.

The organization is dedicated to advancing humanistic psychology through research, education, and practice. Society promotes the importance of human experience and personal growth and encourages the use of humanistic principles in therapeutic and counseling settings. Find more information here.

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Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC):

The Association for Death Education and Counseling is a professional organization that focuses on promoting excellence in death education, grief counseling, and end-of-life care.

ADEC provides resources and support to professionals who work with individuals and families experiencing grief and loss.

The organization also advocates for improved policies and practices in end-of-life care and bereavement support. To find more information visit: https://www.adec.org/ .

American Public Health Association (APHA):

The American Public Health Association is a professional organization that advocates for the protection and promotion of public health. APHA works to improve public health policies and practices and to address health disparities and inequities. The organization also provides resources and support to public health professionals and advocates for increased funding and support for public health initiatives. Find more information here.

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National Association of Perinatal Social Workers (NAPSW):

The National Association of Perinatal Social Workers is a professional organization that focuses on improving the health and well-being of pregnant women, infants, and families. NAPSW provides resources and support to social workers who work in perinatal settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and community agencies.

The organization also advocates for improved policies and practices in perinatal care and support for families during the perinatal period. Find more information here.

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