March is National Social Work Month, and this year’s theme is Social Work Breaks Barriers.
Social workers have been an integral part of our nation for decades. Social workers played key roles in the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights movements and pushed for social programs we now take for granted, including the minimum wage, a 40-hour work week, Social Security, and Medicare.
Every March, the BronxWorks Social Work Committee holds a Social Workers’ Appreciation Breakfast for all BronxWorks social workers, social work interns, and others who are currently working on their social work degrees. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the committee was unable to hold an in-person event in 2021 or 2022. Fortunately, on March 15, 2023, BronxWorks social workers were finally able to once again come together, enjoy a hot breakfast, and get to know other social workers from across the organization with a fun ice-breaker game!
BronxWorks is grateful to our social workers for the integral role they play in our Bronx community, advancing our mission alongside all of our dedicated staff to improve the economic and social well-being of our Bronx neighbors.
BronxWorks has over 50 social workers who are incredibly dedicated to their jobs. We asked a few of them what a social worker’s job is.
Barbara Miliano, LCSW, Program Director, The Brook Supportive Housing: Social workers save lives and we do that by empathizing, connecting, relating, supporting, and just being present in our participants lives.
Mireya Chavez, LCSW, Clinical Coordinator, Westchester Avenue Safe Haven: We support and help build and improve individuals lives. We ensure our clients have the basic need of housing, start from there, and then that allows them to start focus on their health.
Leonelle Kozoi, LMSW, Clinical Coordinator, Living Room Safe Haven: Social workers do everything. We make people understand their worth, and we work with them to make sure they know that their trauma does not identify them.
Beth Hoffman Patalona, LMSW, Director of Social Services, Nelson Avenue Family Residence: We do whatever needs to be done.
Amy Greenbaum-Strauss, LCSW-R, Director of Training & Education: Social workers show up in a helpful and empowering capacity and have an empathic understanding of the trauma of finding yourself in challenging situations. Social workers help their clients overcome whatever adversity they are currently dealing with and get them to a better place both mentally and physically by connecting them to social services.
Stanley Vargas, Social Work Intern (Hunter College ’23), Homeless Outreach Team: We are our clients’ strongest advocates. We give them the information and tools required to navigate different social services programs.
Dylan Cahir, Social Work Intern (Hunter College ’23), Case Manager, Park Haven Supportive Housing: A social worker helps people; upon meeting someone they can figure our what their problems are and work with them to quickly come to a solution.