About

Social Work p.r.n. is a social work owned and operated company. The business started in 1988 under the company name, Joan Upshaw & Associates. In 1992, we trademarked the name Social Work p.r.n. “PRN” is Latin for pro re nata or “under the circumstances.” Hence, our name Social Work “as needed.” For more information and other locations, please visit the corporate website at www.socialworkprn.com. Franchising opportunities exist throughout the United States, so come on and join the team!

Believing that social work and business ideas make a great meld, Joan K. Upshaw, LCSW, developed Social Work p.r.n. as a demonstration project for the social work profession.

Our core values include:

  • Businesses are built on relationships
  • Relationship-building is paramount to the success of our business
  • People, specifically, our employees and affiliate staff, are our most valuable resource
  • Consistent validation of a person’s contributions helps a person feel valued
  • “Growing people” is both good for persons and for the organizations for which they labor
  • Persons are entitled to be “whole people” with “whole lives” even though they work at jobs, AND….
  • The concept of “fit” holds that the relationship between the employer and the worker helps to meet the needs of both parties and the mutuality of the fit is vital in placing workers into jobs.

Social Work p.r.n. was built as a social work business that could integrate these values and serve as a resource for both settings and social workers.

Rob Plotkin, MSW, LSW

Rob Plotkin, MSW, LSW is the franchise owner of Social Work p.r.n. – Philadelphia. Rob was awarded Social Work p.r.n.’s first franchise system in 1997. His territory covers the Greater Philadelphia Metropolitan area stretching into parts of Delaware and New Jersey. In 2012, Rob expanded the franchise to cover the entire State of Pennsylvania.

Rob believes that owning a social work business fits wonderfully for him. “I’ve discovered that I’m using more of my clinical skills now,” he states, “than when I was in direct practice.” Part of Rob’s intrigue in owning a franchise system, was to meld his entrepreneurial spirit with his professional social work values. “Those values provide the structure” he notes, “and without the structure, business decisions could be made that are incompatible with what I see would be a good corporate citizen.” Rob cites that Social Work p.r.n. has a reputation in Philadelphia, as an agency that can be counted on to provide quality professional social work services.

Rob graduated with a MSW from Temple University’s School of Social Work Administration and with a MBA from Drexel University’s Executive MBA program.

Rob keeps busy working on the on-going development of the Philadelphia system. He has a large job, both building relationships with social workers and settings in the area. Rob territory includes the entire State of Pennsylvania; Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Mercer and Salem in New Jersey; and New Castle county in Delaware.

Joann Poole, Director of Operations

Joann Poole began her Social Work p.r.n. career in 2000 as an administrative assistant. She quickly demonstrated a mastery of wide range of operations and in 2002 she was appointed Director of Operations for the Philadelphia Franchise.

In this role Joann is responsible for managing the operations of the office and the staffing of social workers for our agencies. Joann handles the contracting with new agencies and servicing their needs. She also is responsible for the payroll for all the temporary staff and the invoicing for the agencies. Joann is the liaison between both agency and social worker.

She says that the favorite part of her position is being able to help people in their careers while at the same time getting to know them as friends. As many of our social workers will attest, Joann has extraordinary client service and follow up skills.

Joann has shown herself to be a change agent for the company by raising the bar by implementing new initiatives while preserving the founding values of ethics, customer service and results. And, her ability to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously is unsurpassed. Lastly, Joann has an innate ability for captivating her clients and holding their interest, a trait that promotes mutual respect.

In her spare time, Joann enjoys gardening, playing with her grandchildren and her husband’s cooking and wine selections.