Social Workers are Essential to Recovery

Mar 18, 2021Blog

Social Workers are Essential to Recovery

Michele Sterling, Clinical Treatment Manager of Hudson Behavioral Health

When we talk about recovery, people tend to think first of ‘detox’ or 12-Step meetings. But some of the most important – dare I say essential ­– people in the recovery process are often found behind the scenes: social workers.

March is National Social Work Month, a time to highlight the invaluable contributions these professionals make to society. In our world, social workers serve in a critical role in nearly every aspect of the recovery process, interacting with patients throughout their treatment. They provide patients with counseling, help them deal with job loss and/or find work, assure they receive medical care, work with them on legal and custody issues, and help them manage financial insecurity.

They are the glue that brings all the elements of the program together, all with the goal of helping each patient prepare for the day when they return to the world outside our doors.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States. There are currently about 700,000 professional social workers in the United States, and that number is expected to rise to more than 800,000 by 2029.

One of the programs we are most proud of is our internship program, which helps train the next generation of social workers. We think of internships this way: physicians train in ‘teaching hospitals,’ and our goal is to provide the same experience for social workers.

Students from programs at Wor-Wic and Salisbury University (and occasionally other schools) work with us 16 to 24 hours a week, depending on their degree, serving side by side with our staff. They learn how to assess patients, develop treatment plans, and help lead individual and group therapy.

At the end of the internship, participants are evaluated by our social work team and receive a certificate acknowledging the completion of the program. Many of our interns join our team when they graduate, including many members of our current staff.

One more note. While social workers are always essential to the recovery process, never have they been more essential than during the pandemic. Our team has taken every step required and more to keep our patients safe while connecting them with the services they need. We cannot thank them enough.



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.