Frequently Asked Questions

What does a social worker do?
Professional social workers are qualified by education and training to help people and families
navigate life’s choices. They assist people by helping them cope with issues in their everyday lives,
deal with their relationships, and solve personal and family problems.Professional social workers are on the frontlines, responding to human needs such as aging and end-of-life issues, homelessness, poverty, family break-up, mental illness, physical and mental disability, alcohol and substance abuse, domestic violence, disaster relief, and much more.

What are the qualifications and requirements associated with being a social worker?
In order to be called a “professional social worker” in Oregon, a person must have earned a social
work degree at the bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral levels, and completed a minimum number of
hours in supervised fieldwork.

The predominant social work degree for NASW Oregon licensed social workers is a master’s degree
in social work (MSW). 79% of active practitioners have an MSW as their highest degree, 12% have a
bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW), and 2% have a doctorate in social work (PhD).

Who receives help from social workers?
At some point, virtually everyone will need the help of a professional social worker. NASW Oregon
members are there to meet this need with expertise, dedication and ethical practices. Nationally and in Oregon, professional social workers are the nation’s largest provider of mental health services. They provide more mental health services than psychologists and psychiatrists combined. While many professional social workers work directly with clients, others conduct research, identify social problems, and advocate for policy solutions. Social workers’ services are especially crucial for disaster relief efforts. More than 40% of all disaster relief mental health volunteers trained by the American Red Cross are professional social workers.

What does the National Association of Social Workers do?
NASW promotes, develops, and protects the practice of social work. NASW also advocates for
policies that enhance the well‐being of individuals, families, and communities. NASW’s Oregon Chapter was founded in 1971. It is a state chapter of the NASW, the largest membership organization of professional social workers in the world.

What are the NASW core values?
NASW Oregon members adhere to the values, principles and standards set forth in the NASW Code
of Conduct. Professional social workers are committed to social justice. They serve the underserved,
empower the weakened and assist people in crisis. They are sensitive to cultural and ethnic diversity
and strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty and other forms of social injustice.

How do I find a social worker to provide assistance?
Individuals can search for social workers based on geographic, specialization and other requirements
by going online to: http://www.helppro.com/nasw/basicsearch.aspx

How do I contact NASW Oregon?
Phone 503-452-8420; toll free in Oregon: 1-888-8428420
2929 SW Multnomah Blvd., Suite 204
Portland, Oregon 97219
Facebook: “NASW Oregon Chapter” | Twitter: @nasworegon
The executive director for NASW Oregon is Delmar Stone.

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