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NH High Schoolers: Social Work Wants You

April 3, 2008

Durham, NH - New Hampshire's leading social worker says she'd like plenty of today's young people to follow in her footsteps - because the profession is in need of new recruits.

Dr. L. Rene Bergeron is "Social Worker of the Year," so named by the New Hampshire Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. She hopes high school students considering college and career choices will take a serious look at social work professions.

"The need for social workers nationally, we know, is going to increase by twofold because of the huge challenges facing people today: unemployment, lack of housing, lack of accessible healthcare, all of these issues."

Bergeron says the top priority for New Hampshire social workers in the coming year is to help address the healthcare crisis - and it's a big job ahead.

"Making healthcare equitable to all people; and also for preventative healthcare so that, in this country, we gradually begin to cut our healthcare costs, by keeping people healthy."

Bergeron is a professor at University of New Hampshire. People don't go into social work to get rich, she says, but there are good salaries to be made and social work careers can be rewarding. She says there aren't many fields that give people a chance to make an important difference in others' lives, in areas such as family counseling and healthcare.

John Robinson/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - NH