STEUBENVILLE — National Social Work Month has been recognized by the U.S. government since 1984 when President Ronald Reagan signed the first measure from Congress to recognize the profession.
Thursday morning, during their regular meeting, the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners recognized the month dedicated to the profession with a proclamation.
“Social workers, in my opinion, many times give up a lot of what they can gain individually to put service to others above self,” Commissioner Thomas Graham, who has a background in the field, himself, said. “The intrinsic value of helping another human being, whether it’s little children, whether it’s the elderly, is worth gold, is worth more than the material money many times what they do.
“We would like to recognize the social workers that are out there in the trenches helping those in need.”
Graham noted that the Franciscan University of Steubenville and Eastern Gateway Community College each have programs for those looking to get into the field — programs he was involved in helping create.
“We have two, a university and a community college, with social work programs in our community now,” he said. “That is very beneficial.”
Commissioner Dave Maple said Graham’s knowledge of the field has been “an important part of this board and my personal experience.”
“(Graham is) a dedicated professional in this field. (His) knowledge has been really helpful to the county.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Commissioner Tony Morelli.
“(Graham’s) heart is in it,” he said. “It is good to have someone sitting next to me to that can help me (understand the profession).”
Maple also commended the county Department of Job and Family Services.
“We’ve got a really good group down there,” he said. “We greatly appreciate them.”