Building the Social Work Workforce: Saving Lives and Families

Katharine Briar-Lawson

Abstract


This article depicts a journey over the decades to address some of the needs of children and families in the child welfare system. Recounting a few key milestones and challenges in the past 40 years, it is argued that workforce development is one key to improved outcomes for abused and neglected children and their families. Major events and several turning points are chronicled. Emerging workforce needs in aging are also cited as lessons learned from child welfare have implications for building a gero savvy social work workforce. Funding streams involving IV-E and Medicaid are discussed. It is argued that workforce development can be a life and death issue for some of these most vulnerable populations. Thus, the workforce development agenda must be at the forefront of the social work profession for the 21st century. Key funding streams are needed to foster investments in building and sustaining the social work workforce.

Keywords


Workforce, IV-E, Medicaid, child welfare, aging, social work, university-agency partnerships

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