By Nicole Long, MSW, LICSW, CEO of Old Colony Elder Services

March is Social Work Month. Each day social workers help break down barriers that prevent people from living more fulfilling, enriched lives. Social workers take a person-centered approach, helping people overcome personal crises like food insecurity, lack of affordable housing, or limited access to health care.

According to the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the theme for Social Work Month 2023 is “Social Work Breaks Barriers.” This theme underscores the innovative ways in which social workers have empowered people to overcome challenges so they can live to their fullest potential.

Did you know? Social work began over 100 years ago and among those who helped drive positive change in the nation include: Ida B. Wells, a women’s rights activist and anti-lynching advocate; George Edmund Haynes, social worker and co-founder of the National Urban League; and Whitney M. Young, Jr., past president of NASW who, during the Civil Rights Era, worked in collaboration with President Johnson and other leaders to break down the barrier of employment discrimination, according to NASW.

Old Colony Elder Services (OCES), a local Aging Services Access Point (ASAP), provides a variety of services to individuals most in need. Through our programs, we offer significant life-supporting care contributing to an individual’s ability to live independently in the community for as long as possible while preserving dignity and quality of life. OCES is the largest provider of these in-home and community-based services for older adults and people living with disabilities in the southeastern part of Massachusetts.

For example, OCES’ Supportive Housing Program integrates community resources, information, and services for residents at local housing authority sites. The Healthy Living program provides individuals with tools and techniques to manage chronic conditions and prevent falls. Home Care, Nutrition, and the Family Caregiver Support Programs are among OCES’ 20+ programs.

OCES has a team of licensed social workers who break down barriers every day for individuals by providing guidance about a wide range of life changes and challenges. OCES can assist with physical and mental health issues, housing issues, financial hardships, and other challenges that older adults may face.

During Social Work Month, OCES is raising awareness about how social workers break barriers in all communities, and how the contributions of this essential profession improve our community. We invite you to visit our website,, to learn more.

OCES recognizes and appreciates social workers and all who contribute to the social work profession for making a positive difference in the lives of individuals and families.

Sources:  National Association of Social Workers.