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Step Forward commends employees during Social Work Month

Step Forward is taking the opportunity this month to honor its social workers throughout the agency.

March is known as National Social Workers Month. It’s a time for the public to learn more about the important work people within the profession do and the positive contributions they make to each of our communities.

“A social worker is trained to improve the well-being of an individual,” Travena Golliday, Step Forward’s Director of Neighborhood Opportunity Centers, said. “We work in different settings like schools, non-profit organizations like ours and more, to help people in need.”

Step Forward, the designated anti-poverty agency for Cuyahoga County, employs more than a dozen social workers. Nine employed social workers are within the agency’s Community Services.

“Our social workers provide individual counseling services as well as parenting, anger management and domestic violence groups,” Golliday explained. “We do mental health assessments and work with clients on their goals to support them with functioning at their highest capacity daily.”

Step Forward helps low-income individuals and families address immediate needs and build skills for long-term success. While providing emergency assistance and long-term skills training, the agency is determined to help individuals and families navigate the stress life’s challenges can bring.

“It’s important to be aware of the daily struggles many people face,” Golliday said. “There is a stigma about seeking help when people are suffering internally, but mental health is just as important as physical wellbeing.”

Statistics from Step Forward’s 2022 Outcomes show:

  • More than 85 percent of clients who completed a mental health assessment received life skills coaching sessions

  • More than half of clients who worked toward their goals made progress and demonstrated improved cognitive functioning as evidenced by an improved Satisfaction with Life score

  • Eighty percent of clients who completed eight sessions of Anger Management classes demonstrated improved coping mechanisms and the ability to effectively manage anger as evidence by participating in sessions and having an improved anger assessment score

  • Every client who completed eight sessions of Step Forward’s Parenting Group demonstrated improved parenting skills as evidence by an improved Parenting Assessment score

  • Every client that enrolled in the Domestic Violence Group completed a mental health assessment.

Step Forward offers services at four Neighborhood Opportunity Centers throughout Cuyahoga County. Services are at no cost to income-eligible residents.

“The most rewarding part of our job is helping someone work on themselves and getting them to advocate on their own behalf,” Golliday said. “It’s rewarding to see a client have a ‘light bulb’ moment where they understand why they are struggling and have hope to overcome those struggles.”

The theme for March 2023’s Social Work Month is Social Work Breaks Barriers, which resonates with Step Forward. This year, Social Work Month is focused on raising awareness on how social workers have contributed to society by empowering individuals and families to overcome challenges that have otherwise prevented them from living life to the fullest.

Interest in the social work profession is growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest-growing professions nationwide. Data shows there are nearly 720,000 professional social workers in the United States.

Step Forward is hiring for a Case Management position in the social field. The position requires an individual to have or obtain a LSW or LPC license. Those interested in applying can click here for more information.

If you’re interested in receiving personal development services from Step Forward, click here.

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