Home  |   Subscribe  |   Resources  |   Reprints  |   Writers' Guidelines

From the Editor: A Legend Exemplifies Social Work Values
By Kate Jackson
Social Work Today
Vol. 23 No. 1 P. 4

Almost 20 years ago, just months after Fred Rogers died, I wrote an article for Social Work Today about the legendary television host and his legacy. I wasn’t the most obvious choice to pen the piece. I wasn’t of the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood generation, raised instead on Captain Kangaroo. I had little familiarity with Rogers and, I’m embarrassed to say, I knew him best from Eddie Murphy’s impersonation on Saturday Night Live. My impression—based on parody and only a passing awareness—was that he was a bit corny and maybe a little dull. In the course of researching and writing the article, however, I learned how dead wrong I’d been and how much brilliance I’d failed to see. I quickly became a fan and have since been deeply impressed by his quiet wisdom and unfailing goodness.

Two decades later, his legacy continues to resonate with social workers. Like me, Robert G. Hasson III, PhD, LICSW, didn’t have much memory of Fred Rogers and hadn’t been aware of the depth of his thinking. But then he saw the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, in which Tom Hanks plays Rogers. Immediately he was struck by the numerous ways in which Rogers expressed social work skills and principles, such as empathy and reflection. In a feature in this issue, Hasson enumerates the ways in which Rogers demonstrates the values prized by social workers and exemplifies the foundational tenets of social work.

Also in this issue, contributor Sue Coyle explains the fundamentals of monkeypox, now known as mpox, and explores the ways that social workers can help their clients obtain adequate information and access available resources. In another feature, Susan Chapman looks at a therapeutic approach to enhance resilience in older adults, in an effort to help them combat stress. And Jamie Santa Cruz addresses one of the more critical concerns today—the wellbeing of transgender youth and the importance of gender-affirming care in a climate in which it is being regularly challenged.

— Kate Jackson