FREDERICTON (GNB) – March is National Social Worker Month.

In honour of the month, Social Development Minister Bruce Fitch invites New Brunswickers to join him in recognizing the important work done by social workers in the province.

“Our social workers help individuals, families, organizations and communities develop the skills and resources they need to enhance their social functioning and environments,” said Fitch. “They carry out a number of essential duties, including investigations into cases of child and senior abuse, neglect, and family violence; facilitating family group conferences; recruiting foster parents; supervising the placement of children in care of the province; facilitating adoption placements; contributing to the care of seniors and those with disabilities; and social rehabilitation of young or adult offenders.”

In New Brunswick, more than 2,100 social workers are actively involved in a diversity of sectors: child welfare, child protection, adult protection, long-term care and disability support services, social assistance, health care, counselling, justice, education, First Nations communities and advocacy organizations. The Department of Social Development has more than 800 social workers helping provide services to more than 75,000 New Brunswickers every month.

The theme for this year’s Social Worker Month is Social Work is Essential.

Fitch said he believes that social workers play an essential role in the province by helping to improve the quality of life for countless individuals of all ages.

“On behalf of the provincial government, I thank all social workers for their hard work and dedication,” said Fitch. “I want to take this opportunity to recognize their efforts, accomplishments and contributions in our province.”