Empowering Social Workers with Opportunities for Growth

Mar 27, 2024Blog

Each March we recognize and celebrate the invaluable contributions of social workers around the globe. Social Work Month serves as a reminder of the tireless efforts of these unsung heroes who dedicate their lives to uplifting communities, advocating for social justice, and supporting individuals in need.

From child welfare to mental health services, from substance abuse counseling to elderly care, social workers are present in every aspect of our society, working diligently to improve the lives of others.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has declared the theme for Social Work Month this year is “empowering social workers.” As an organization that not only employs social workers but also runs a social work internship program to support growth and education in the field, we’ve always put strong emphasis on empowering social workers.

Susan Forrest, MSW, CAC-AD, the Director of Clinical Operations at Hudson, oversees the internship program along with Mental Health Therapist Kerry Turner, MSW, LCSW-C, CAC-AD. “Internships are crucial to academic learning, and I always encourage social work students to consider an internship in the addiction or behavioral health field,” said Susan. “Addiction is prevalent in our society and all social workers will encounter it in some capacity, so what an amazing opportunity to use one of their two required internships to learn on the front lines.”

Susan shared that as an organization, Hudson encourages their staff to further their education and pursue higher degrees and licensures to continue growing in the field. Several current employees are also in school and participate in the internship program, and the internship supervisors go out of their way to be flexible and accommodate the heavy workload from school.

“The goal of our internship program is to nurture our current employees in addition to prospective employees, and give them opportunities to grow in whatever area they’re most interested in,” said Susan.

Joe Seminara, CAC-AD is in the Master of Social Work program at Salisbury University and will graduate this Fall. He’s also worked at Hudson since 2015, when he started as a chemical dependency tech and then quickly became a certified substance abuse counselor. “My internship has given me the opportunity to work in the 3.1 housing under the supervision of Kerry Turner,” said Joe. “It’s interesting to see my job from more of the mental health angle, and rewarding to see patients start achieving things like getting their first job or coping with a stressful situation on their own.”

Social work has 27 different roles in our society, but Susan says the addiction treatment field will always be special to her. “When people with addictions recover, they become the best version of themselves and you can walk that path with them. After two weeks in our care, you start to see the light come back in their eyes, and after a month they have hope and a plan for the future. In housing, they become unrecognizable in the way they carry themselves with self-confidence. Social work can be stressful and challenging at times, but witnessing this transformation makes it all worth it.”

About us

Hudson Behavioral Health was formed in 1980 (as Hudson Health Services, Inc.) to bring the first residential recovery program to the Eastern Shore. Today, thousands of patients later, we remain the leader in recovery programs and resources, with our staff of 100 committed to serving each patient as an individual.