Social Work Quotes

44 Powerful Social Work Quotes to Drive Your Mission

By improving the lives of individuals and communities, social work is a rewarding and impactful profession. But in many instances, it doesn't get the recognition it deserves. That's why we've put together a collection of powerful social work quotes to remind us of the incredible difference social workers make. 

If you want to be a social worker, we'll also explore the essential skills one must have and the causes one is fighting for. Of course, we'll also tap into the joy of helping in this selfless career. From rights activists to religious leaders to politicians to poets, dive deep into our social work quotes.

Empowering Quotes About Social Work And Advocacy

According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 708,100 social workers in 2021. They also projected the numbers to increase by 9% by 2031. So, when you hear social workers' common sentiments of being overworked and underpaid, you might wonder why they stayed. 

The answer is advocacy. Through this tool, social workers empower clients to tackle complex bureaucracies, influence policies, and raise awareness about pressing social matters such as insufficient housing, substance abuse, or unemployment. By anchoring on advocacy, they continue to bring hope to the voiceless. 

Do you want to be one? As you read the social work quotes below, empower yourself to be an agent of change.

"Never underestimate your ability to make someone else's life better—even if you never know it." -Greg Louganis #trvst #quotes #dogood #gogreen #socialwork #life #charity #ngo #socialworker
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"Never underestimate your ability to make someone else's life better—even if you never know it."

- Greg Louganis

"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate." -Albert Schweitzer #trvst #quotes #bethechange #dogood #ngo #sun #socialwork #socialworker #charity
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"Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate."

- Albert Schweitzer

"I became a social worker because I want to give a voice to those who don't feel heard." -Peter Swanson #trvst #quotes #dogood #thinkgreen #socialworker #ngo #socialwork #charity
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"I became a social worker because I want to give a voice to those who don't feel heard."

- Peter Swanson

"In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute." -Thurgood Marshall #trvst #quotes #impact #beinspired #charity #socialworker #ngo #socialwork
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"In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute."

- Thurgood Marshall

"The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don't wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope." -Barack Obama #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #ecoconscious #socialworker #world #ngo #socialwork #charity
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"The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don't wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope."

- Barack Obama

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world." -Anne Frank #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #takeaction #charity #world #socialwork #ngo #socialworker
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"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

- Anne Frank

"At this very moment, there are individuals only you can reach, and differences only you can make in their lives." -Mike Dooley #trvst #quotes #planetearthfirst #impact #ngo #socialworker #socialwork #charity
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"At this very moment, there are individuals only you can reach, and differences only you can make in their lives."

- Mike Dooley

Social Work Quotes On The Importance Of Empathy And Compassion

Empathy and compassion form the backbone of social work, allowing professionals to connect with their clients genuinely. In addition, these qualities not only build trust and open communication but also create a safe haven, especially for troubled or abused people. Social workers continuously hone these essential qualities to ensure that their practice remains grounded in the core values of their profession — making a lasting impact on the lives of those they serve. 

All of us, not just social workers, should improve our empathy and compassion. Consider its importance as you read the following social work quotes below.

"Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well, can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity." -Pema Chodron #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #beinspired #ngo #relationship #charity #darkness #socialworker
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"Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well, can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity."

- Pema Chodron

"Kindness can transform someone's dark moment with a blaze of light. You'll never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for another today." -Amy Leigh Mercree #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #takeaction #ngo #light #socialwork #socialworker #charity
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"Kindness can transform someone's dark moment with a blaze of light. You'll never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for another today."

- Amy Leigh Mercree

"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are." -Bernice Johnson Reagon #trvst #quotes #socialimpact #socialchange #charity #ngo #socialwork #socialworker
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"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are."

- Bernice Johnson Reagon

"It’s a privilege to be able to bear witness to someone’s story when they may not have had the chance to tell it before." -Lindy Alexander #trvst #quotes #bethechange #beinspired #socialwork #charity #ngo #socialworker
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"It’s a privilege to be able to bear witness to someone’s story when they may not have had the chance to tell it before."

- Lindy Alexander

"It is not your job to save everyone. Some people are not even ready to be helped. Focus on being of service to those who are, and be wise and humble enough to know when the best service you can offer is to guide them toward help in another direction." -Anna Taylor #trvst #quotes #changetheworld #impact #socialwork #people #charity #ngo #socialworker
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"It is not your job to save everyone. Some people are not even ready to be helped. Focus on being of service to those who are, and be wise and humble enough to know when the best service you can offer is to guide them toward help in another direction."

- Anna Taylor

Quotes About Social Work And The Fight For Social Justice And Inequality

Social workers' tireless efforts aim to build a fairer society by tackling systemic issues and advocating for vulnerable individuals and communities. Can only professionals do these? No. One can also be a social worker without education and training. 

For example, baptist minister Martin Luther King Jr. and poet Maya Angelou embody the core values of being a social worker by fighting for social justice. We can always get involved in the battle for change if we educate ourselves about what's happening outside our bubble. 

Let the world hear your voice as these social work quotes fire you up. For more inspiring people working to make a change, check out our list of famous environmentalists or equality quotes.

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds that we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." -Martin Luther King, Jr. #trvst #quotes #gogreen #ecoconscious #socialwork #animal #socialworker #person #ngo
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"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds that we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Diversity makes for a rich tapestry. We must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value, no matter their color; equal in importance no matter their texture." -Maya Angelou #trvst #quotes #takeaction #socialchange #charity #socialwork #ngo #socialworker
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"Diversity makes for a rich tapestry. We must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value, no matter their color; equal in importance no matter their texture."

- Maya Angelou

"True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice." -Jane Addams #trvst #quotes #impact #changetheworld #socialwork #peace #socialworker #ngo #charity
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"True peace is not merely the absence of war, it is the presence of justice."

- Jane Addams

"I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept." -Angela Davis #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #socialimpact #ngo #charity #socialworker #socialwork
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"I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept."

- Angela Davis

"The time is always right to do the right thing." -Martin Luther King Jr. #trvst #quotes #changetheworld #takeaction #socialwork #socialworker #ngo #charity
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"The time is always right to do the right thing."

- Martin Luther King Jr.

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." -Elie Wiesel #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #collectiveaction #charity #socialwork #ngo #socialworker
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"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest."

- Elie Wiesel

"You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical than the society you grew up in." -Eliezer Yudkowsky #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #beinspired #charity #socialworker #socialwork #ngo
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"You are personally responsible for becoming more ethical than the society you grew up in."

- Eliezer Yudkowsky

Positive Quotes For Social Workers About The Joy Of Helping Without Expecting Any Return

Picture the smile on a person's face or the relief in their eyes when they finally find the support they need. These moments create a ripple effect that extends far beyond the individual. In a world that sometimes seems overwhelmed by negativity, social workers embody the idea that one small act of selflessness can make a world of difference.

We can also incorporate selflessness into our daily lives by volunteering, such as planting trees or serving food at homeless shelters. A longitudinal study even observed that volunteers are happier than those who do not1. What more do social workers feel who do it every day?

After reading the following social work quotes below, catch a glimpse at this rewarding profession as you help one person today. You might also like our rundown of volunteering facts for more information about the role and importance of the voluntary sector and getting involved in human service.

"When you do ‘it' right, Social Work is a feeling that is larger than your own life." -Ogden W. Rogers. #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #impact #socialworker #life #socialwork #charity #ngo
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"When you do ‘it' right, Social Work is a feeling that is larger than your own life."

- Ogden W. Rogers.

"The small charity that comes from the heart is better than the great charity that comes from the head." -Ivan Panin #trvst #quotes #gogreen #socialchange #charity #ngo #socialworker #socialwork
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"The small charity that comes from the heart is better than the great charity that comes from the head."

- Ivan Panin

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." -Dalai Lama #trvst #quotes #beinspired #changetheworld #charity #happy #socialworker #ngo #socialwork
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"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

- Dalai Lama

"There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone's life." -Mary Rose McGeady #trvst #quotes #takeaction #collectiveaction #socialwork #life #socialworker #charity #ngo
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"There is no greater joy nor greater reward than to make a fundamental difference in someone's life."

- Mary Rose McGeady

"Helping is self-satisfaction and not expecting anything in return, a volunteer act." -Babuschka Lorenz #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #socialchange #charity #ngo #socialworker #socialwork
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"Helping is self-satisfaction and not expecting anything in return, a volunteer act."

- Babuschka Lorenz

"Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree." -Marian Wright Edelman #trvst #quotes #dogood #ecoconscious #socialworker #life #ngo #charity #socialwork
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"Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree."

- Marian Wright Edelman

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that you cannot sincerely try to help another without helping yourself." -Ralph Waldo Emerson #trvst #quotes #takeaction #thinkgreen #socialwork #life #ngo #charity #socialworker
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"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that you cannot sincerely try to help another without helping yourself."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #bethechange #socialworker #happiness #socialwork #ngo #charity
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"As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness."

- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Famous Quotes By Social Workers To Embody Every Day

Throughout history, many influential social workers have encapsulated the essence of their work and dedication to creating a better world. 

One such pioneer is Jane Addams. She is the Mother of Social Work in the United States who tirelessly advocate for social reform for women and children. 

We should also thank Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic nun from India. She established the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, which is devoted to helping the poorest in the country. Both women won a Nobel Peace Prize and continue to make an impact today. Whose other social worker do you look up to?

By embodying these social work quotes in our everyday lives, let's honor the legacy of these pioneers who paved the way for a better society.

"We are not social workers. We are contemplatives in the heart of the world." -Mother Teresa #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #takeaction #socialworker #world #ngo #charity #socialwork
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"We are not social workers. We are contemplatives in the heart of the world."

- Mother Teresa

"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you." -Mother Teresa #trvst #quotes #planetearthfirst #ecoconscious #socialwork #person #socialworker #charity #ngo
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"Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you."

- Mother Teresa

"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty." -Mahatma Gandhi #trvst #quotes #socialchange #bethechange #charity #ocean #ngo #socialworker #socialwork
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"You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty."

- Mahatma Gandhi

"For action is indeed the sole medium of expression for ethics." -Jane Addams #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #ecoconscious #socialworker #action #socialwork #charity #ngo
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"For action is indeed the sole medium of expression for ethics."

- Jane Addams

"Nothing can be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon and left one unexpended effort which might have saved the world." -Jane Addams #trvst #quotes #takeaction #bethechange #charity #world #socialworker #socialwork #ngo
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"Nothing can be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon and left one unexpended effort which might have saved the world."

- Jane Addams

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." -Barack Obama #trvst #quotes #bethechange #beinspired #charity #person #socialworker #ngo #socialwork
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"Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

- Barack Obama

"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try." -John Fitzgerald Kennedy #trvst #quotes #beinspired #takeaction #charity #person #socialworker #socialwork #ngo
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"One person can make a difference, and everyone should try."

- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Everyone has a purpose in life…a unique gift or special talent to give to others. And when we blend this unique talent with service to others, we experience the ecstasy and exultation of our own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals.

~ Deepak Chopra

I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.

~ Oprah Winfrey

Ignoring your death is like dying a slow death. Your life is speaking to you every day, all the time-and your job is to listen up and find the clues. Passion whispers to you through your feelings, beckoning you toward your highest good. Pay attention to what makes you feel energized, connected, stimulated-what gives you your juice. Do what you love, give it back in the form of service, and you will do more than succeed. You will triumph!

~ Oprah Winfrey

Short Quotes To Spread The Importance Of Social Work On Social Media

Social media has become a powerful stage for raising awareness and sharing knowledge. A study shows how a platform like Twitter can be a tool for education about and action toward social issues. Twitter accounts of nonprofit organizations use features like retweets, hyperlinks, and hashtags to spread awareness and build a community for change.

Furthermore, online content, especially if it goes viral, can rapidly increase empathy, understanding, and, ultimately, positive change. It's like a digital snowball effect! And what better way to get it rolling than inspirational quotes for social work?

We don't have to be professional social workers or establish an organization. Instead, we can start advocating for change by posting the following social work quotes on our social media accounts.

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." -Helen Keller #trvst #quotes #socialchange #socialimpact #ngo #charity #socialwork #socialworker
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"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

- Helen Keller

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." -Mahatma Gandhi #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #changetheworld #ngo #world #socialwork #charity #socialworker
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"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

- Mahatma Gandhi

"Always have a willing hand to help someone, you might be the only one that does." -Roy T. Bennett #trvst #quotes #changetheworld #bethechange #socialwork #charity #socialworker #ngo
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"Always have a willing hand to help someone, you might be the only one that does."

- Roy T. Bennett

"Helping others is the secret sauce to a happy life." -Todd Stocke #trvst #quotes #changetheworld #beinspired #socialwork #life #charity #happy #ngo
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"Helping others is the secret sauce to a happy life."

- Todd Stocke

"I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble." -Rudyard Kipling #trvst #quotes #socialchange #beinspired #ngo #charity #socialwork #socialworker
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"I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble."

- Rudyard Kipling

"To a social worker working for others is not a job, it is a joy." -Amit Kalantri #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #bethechange #charity #socialworker #ngo #socialwork
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"To a social worker working for others is not a job, it is a joy."

- Amit Kalantri

We're all stumbling towards the light with varying degrees of grace at any given moment.

~ Bo Lozoff

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