“My path as a professional social worker has been so fundamentally shaped by my time at Xavier. I want to extend deep gratitude to the school and instructors who helped me forge my path…I wouldn't be doing any of this work if it wasn't for my time at Xavier, and I'm forever thankful...”
--Ashley Marine BSW '11
According to the Council on Social Work Education's (CSWE) Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS), the purpose of the social work profession:
...is to promote human and community well-being. Guided by a person in environment construct, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and knowledge based on scientific inquiry, social work's purpose is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, the prevention of conditions that limit human rights, the elimination of poverty, and the enhancement of the quality of life for all persons.
Social workers are professionals helping people and society with complex interpersonal and social problems. They not only respond to people's individual needs, but are committed to making society more just by challenging the development and utilization of available resources. Social work majors develop practice based skills in solving problems and strengthening individuals, families, groups, organizations, communities and society while also developing as fully engaged citizens.
Social Work is a profession with educational and licensure requirements for those with a strong desire to promote social justice and improve the collective well-being of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. The social work profession in the United States is more than 100 years old and only those who have earned a social work degree or are licensed as a social worker are "professional" social workers. Through their work, social workers:
- Empower client systems to restore or enhance their social functioning capacity while also challenging social injustice by addressing contributing societal conditions.
- Link client systems with needed resources, improve the operation of social service delivery systems, and advocate for social justice through the development and implementation of social policies.
- Are employed in many community life settings including schools, hospitals, mental health settings, senior centers, private practice, social service agencies, prisons, corporations, military and even elected office.
Sharing values such as social justice, service to others, and respect for the inherent dignity and worth of all persons, the social work program at Xavier also reflects the mission of Jesuit education through its emphasis on the whole person, social justice, and solidarity.
From the July 2020 statement of the Social Work Department:
"As faculty in the Social Work department at Xavier University, we are acutely aware of the shared University and professional values of service and social justice, commitment to diversity and difference, and obvious shortcomings of both to sufficiently redress the legacy of racism and white supremacy; thus we are committed to advocating for anti-racist actions and the dismantling of white supremacy in our department, college, University, and profession."