November 6th has been celebrated as Community Social Service Workers Appreciation Day by unions and other stakeholders across Canada since 2008.
This day is an opportunity to recognize the dedication and professionalism of workers in a variety of community social services, including (but certainly not limited to) adult mental health, group homes, children’s treatment services, developmental services and women’s services.
Every day – and often through the night, as well – thousands of Nova Scotians provide care at group homes, treatment and drop-in centres, as well as shelters and training facilities, helping to guide our most vulnerable families, children and teens. These workers are able to see the potential in people living with disabilities. They offer hope and inspiration to the abused, the addicted, and the disenfranchised, and help make this country great.
That’s why, this November 6th, we ask that you take a moment to consider the work of these caring individuals, and thank them for their contribution to our community.
Last year, as part of Community Social Service Workers Appreciation Day, the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) launched a survey on the conditions facing both community social service workers and the people who rely on community social services. The results showed that many community social service workers face unsafe situations on the job.
Of the workers who responded to the survey, 65% had experienced workplace violence. Sixty percent had experience an injury in the workplace.
In addition to being a chance to express our appreciation for the vital contribution these workers make, Community Social Service Workers Appreciation Day is also an opportunity to draw attention to the risks and challenges community social service workers face. And as experience in British Columbia and Ontario has shown, efforts by activists have an impact.
You can find out more about the survey results here.