Thank a social worker today! 

March has been officially recognized as National Social Work Month by the White House. In March, we celebrate the valuable skills social workers bring to our communities, and we consider the social challenges—things like increasing mental health needs and substance use—that make our social workers more vital than ever.

Margo Webb, RHHD’s Director of Community Programs, is a social worker by training. She says social work is critical for the success of public health programs: “The social workers at RHHD are passionate about helping individuals and families understand the complex healthcare system and social and human services landscape. We approach working with clients from a strengths perspective and we want to empower families to look at the strengths they bring to the table even during difficult times. We understand how deeply broken that many of our systems are, and we try to approach these difficulties with honesty and realistic solutions.” Below, members of her team reflect on their impact as social workers in public health:

Maria Cotty-Mercado, Human Services Specialist:“Social Work is not just a profession; it’s a deeply rooted commitment. We stand by people during their darkest moments, rescuing kids, rebuilding relationships, and so much more. In difficult situations, people need support and empathy for their struggles. We don’t judge individuals, rush them, or ignore them. Instead, we listen to those who need our help. We might be the only person they have listening to them at their darkest hour. We are passionate about how our assistance helps others and transforms their lives. It is not just rewarding; it’s life-affirming.”
D’atra Franklin, Unite Us Community Engagement Specialist:“Our work extends far beyond stereotypes of removing children from homes or handing out assistance. We work in a range of settings like hospitals, government agencies, private practices, and non-profits. We often hold advanced degrees or go through training processes. We empower clients AND play a crucial role in shaping policies that reduce poverty, discrimination, and injustice. Working with aging populations, foster care, child welfare, and homelessness has highlighted for me the critical role of preventive measures and early intervention in public health. It has also taught me the value of community-based solutions and the need for policies that support the well-being of all community members, especially the most vulnerable.”

Militza Lopez, Social Worker, Maternity Navigation:“We know that what we do has a purpose that is bigger than us. We work to improve people’s lives by seeking solutions, adapting to circumstances, and finding ways to serve better. Public health is an area of great need where we can all find our ikigai (the Japanese secret to a long and happy life) and wake up every day with the purpose of serving with passion and mission.”

This month (and every month), RHHD is grateful for Margo, D’atra, Maria, Militza, and the rest of our social workers!