Joining NASW

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Comments (5)

Ms. M in Randolph, Massachusetts

76 months ago

I'm done with wasting money for NASW membership every year. That's almost $200 a year I can use for other, more necessary and helpful things. After all, social work salaries are among the lowest. My master's degree was a waste of money as I will never be able to earn enough to pay off my student loans. Meaningful work does not pay the rent. I first joined NASW when I was still in school as it was highly recommended by school staff. I cannot honestly say that NASW has done anything to help me since that time. No, wait - I have 2 examples of NASW "help."
I worked to get accreditation specific to my field of work and this is what happened -- the accreditation was approved, but hinges on membership in NASW. In other words, I cannot have the accreditation WITHOUT keeping up with my NASW membership. Plus I have to pay for the certification itself. My experience and hard work in the field account for ???? I pay all that money for a few extra letters after my name? I'm done with it. The other "help" I received through NASW occurred when I moved to MA. I could not find a job, could not even get an interview. I visited the NASW office in Boston, seeking help, and was told that the salaries for SWs had been going down and the situation was not expected to improve, but get worse. I was also told that basically I was too old to get a job as agencies preferred hiring young people directly out of grad school -- easier to mold newbies who are willing to work for low pay. My first SW job in MA paid $29K. With a master's degree. Dreadful. None of my colleagues are members of NASW any longer. Consensus is that it is a waste of money. Interested in a career in social work? Beware. Read the social worker forums, get a feel for the work there. And read closely about the lack of benefits, low salaries and constant budget cuts and department cuts. Unless, of course, you have a partner who is fabulously, independently wealthy. I should have been an astronaut

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confused in Plymouth, Massachusetts

60 months ago

So, what are you doing now? I know exactly how you feel. I am worried: no job, no money, no wealthy partner!

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UrbanMidwest in Bridgeview, Illinois

19 months ago

Yea, the more I observe the world of social work and the politics within it it becomes more of a joke. But I got my plans, I got my goals. NASW be damned.

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UrbanMidwest in Bridgeview, Illinois

19 months ago

And to add on to my last post: I'm not going to join NASW if I finish my MSW. NASW is the like the UN: almost completely useless.

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crlaf in Ames, Iowa

5 months ago

The work can be rewarding, but not membership in NASW. Don't waste your time and money, unless you don't mind beating your head against a brick wall and throwing money down the drain.

I've been a member of NASW since the '80s and cannot begin to tell you how frustrating it's been. I got talked into it as an undergrad, chained to it for the malpractice insurance, and now cannot free myself of it.

With NASW, it's about what you can do for others, not what NASW can do to support you. You'll get no practice support unless you do macro level work. When I see what the APA (American Psychological Assoc.) offers its members, especially for continuing ed topics and practice support, there is absolutely no comparison. None. APA provides very high quality, CURRENT, and relevant information, and that includes macro level info. NASW's focus is far too broad, without depth, to do those of us in the field much good.

Most frustrating of all is NASW's website. It does nothing but thwart its users, at every turn, and it's been this way for YEARS. The information on it tends to be outdated and useless. It doesn't even have a secure login, so be prepared to have your identity stolen if you log in.

NASW has been and continues to be an embarrassment. I cannot identify with being a social worker or take pride in my association when all I see, with virtually EVERY encounter with NASW, is low-quality, low-tech, outdated and useless information. If you are a master’s level clinician, be prepared to be invisible to them unless they want money. I wish I would have gone into a PhD program in psychology.

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