Clearfield County Commissioners proclaimed March as Social Work Month following a presentation by representatives of the social work program at Lock Haven University, Clearfield Campus. Pictured from left, front row, are Commissioners Mary Tatum, Chairman John Sobel and Dave Glass; back row, student Michele Luzier, Professor AnnJane Ross and student Kellie Jackson.

CLEARFIELD — Clearfield County Commissioners proclaimed March as Social Work Month and recognized the work done throughout the county.

At the board’s recent meeting, the designation was declared following a presentation by representatives of Lock Haven University’s Clearfield Campus’ social work program.

The theme for the month is “Social Work Breaks Barriers.”

Professor AnnJane Ross told the commissioners social work plays a vital role in many programs but is often undetected. “Social work is involved in many lines of work but it is often hidden in the background. It is the unsung hero waiting to be called into duty,” Ross said.

“Social work’s goal is to empower people, make communities better and help families function,” she added, noting the profession helps individuals and families overcome issues that can impede them from leading full and complete lives. She said several programs in the county are utilizing students from the university’s program who are required to complete a semester of field work before they graduate.

Social work is a growing field. “It is definitely needed in the community. Many of our students have experience, that’s what makes a wonderful social worker.”

Student Michele Luzier said she believes her studies can not only benefit others but said she has also experienced a change in her own life. “I am becoming a more well-rounded individual because of what I’ve learned in this program.”

Student Kellie Jackson noted “I hope I can make a difference and people will see social workers are important and can make a difference.”

The commissioners said social workers are physically present and working to help local residents with issues that are affecting their lives.

Chairman John Sobel said the county uses social workers in many of its programs.

Commissioner Dave Glass said, “I knew social work was important before I became a commissioner; but since I have been here, my eyes have really been opened.”