The National Association of Social Workers released the results of a national study of licensed social workers. What do you think the study discovered? ...warn of an impending shortage of social workers... And who do you think will be most affected? ...the most vulnerable among us.
As a social worker, I nonetheless wonder how this is a bad thing, exactly. The field is staffed by aging boomers who are going to be retiring in the next 10-20 years. The ideological diversity of that group is slight. The range of the solutions they can generate runs from whether the local government should be responsive to whether the federal government should send money.
We got an update on suicidology at our social work department meeting. The national group which deals with this is deeply concerned about... credentialing of suicidologists. But their new catchphrase is "Suicide is everyone's business," which would seem contradictory at first, until you understand how human services advocates think. Everyone should care very deeply, and be aware of the problem - and make impassioned pleas when called upon. And as a result of this caring and awareness, they should respect the people who do this work and pay them handsomely.
I could have written that last paragraph about just about any area of need. ______ is everybody's business. And we're deeply concerned about credentialing. At the same time, we're very big on allowing people to make bad choices, but make society pay for it.
You will notice that all these important advocates for causes are not giving up their jobs speaking at conferences to alleviate the shortage of front-line workers. See my annoyance with advocacy here.
From what I can see, the younger social workers are far less ideological, more of a "Git 'er done" attitude to helping others. I like them. How they got through MSW programs, where the professors are all from my generation, and thus 60's retreads, I don't know. Academic social work is still little more than political training. But the new group seems more grounded.