Credit: DPSS

The Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) and the County of Los Angeles join the national observance of Social Work Month, saluting the front-line heroism of 866 dedicated social workers and social worker supervisors serving in the department’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Division.

National Social Work Month is a time to honor and celebrate the social worker profession, one of the fastest growing professions in the country. Nationwide, there are more than 700,000 social workers serving youth, families, veterans, and older adults. During their March 9, weekly meeting, the Board of Supervisors proclaimed March as “Social Work Month” in the County of Los Angeles to highlight and thank them for their essential service to vulnerable residents.

This year’s national theme is “Social Workers are Essential,” embracing the selfless accomplishments and contributions they make to their profession. At DPSS, IHSS Social Workers help blind, elderly, and disabled recipients to remain in their homes instead of moving into a nursing facility. During the COVID-19 pandemic, IHSS Social Workers have demonstrated just how much their services are needed.

“Our social workers have been essential to the well-being of 236,000 vulnerable recipients in L.A. County, many of whom are elderly, blind, and disabled,” said DPSS Director Antonia Jiménez. “Our courageous and dedicated social workers have been on the front lines of the pandemic serving their customers with excellence.”

IHSS Social Workers have adapted to the pandemic environment and are using new methods to serve their clients, many of whom are at high risk of contracting the virus. Mandatory interviews are now being conducted through video conferencing and reassessments are completed by phone.