Professional social workers in spotlight during March

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March is Professional Social Work Month, according to the National and Washington state associations of Social Workers. The 2012 theme is "Social Work Matters," which seeks to showcase the impact of more than 642,000 professional social workers in America.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest-growing professions in the country, due to an increased need for health and aging related services, as well as child, family and school-based supports.

"Social workers believe that a nation's strength depends on the ability of the majority of its citizens to lead productive and healthy lives," said Jeane Anastas, president of the national association. "Every day, social workers help people navigate life's toughest challenges to find hope and new options for maximum social functioning."

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