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July/August 2023Vol. 24, No. 6Survey Analyzes Public Opinion of Social Workers

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and the NASW Foundation partnered with Ipsos to conduct a survey on the public opinion of social workers. Of the 1,016 adult American respondents, 80 percent had a favorable opinion of social workers.

The following are other key findings:

  • One in six Americans say they or a member of their immediate family have been helped by a social worker, and a majority of those helped by social workers say their situation was at least somewhat improved.
  • Many people are unaware that social workers work in a variety of settings outside of social services, child welfare, mental health, and substance use.
  • Few Americans know that social workers can work in potentially dangerous settings.
  • A strong majority of Americans would support a bill that would provide agencies with a grant to help improve the safety of social workers.
  • More than half of respondents said social workers should be paid more than the median pay of $50,390 a year.

The survey was conducted using a program called KnowledgePanel. NASW encourages professionals to share the results on social media and in editorials, presentations, legislative visits, community events, and media interviews. A press release about the survey, an executive summary, and social media cards are available on the NASW website.