The Sustainable Development Goals provide an unprecedented opportunity to influence national and international development policy and programs while highlighting the intersections between the work of the social service workforce and those working on health challenges, violence prevention and migration. This is a critical time to promote and build awareness of the valuable contributions made every day by the social service workforce toward achieving the SDGs, particularly related to ending violence against children, supporting children and families on the move and improving health and well-being.
To gain the attention and funding levels needed to ensure a well-trained, well-developed and well-supported workforce, greater advocacy efforts are needed. We can all take steps, big and small, toward increasing awareness and interest in the workforce. Doing so requires each one of us to be more vocal in advocating to policy makers and program implementers. Advocacy efforts are targeted at achieving both policy and programmatic change. Advocacy can be directed at protecting rights, educating the public, and encouraging civil or political participation. Advocacy can seek fundamental change for an organization or community and/or seek to address issues that need greater focus to create policy change.
Using the Alliance network as a platform for coming together across disciplines, organizations, countries and regions, we can all do more together than we can alone. To support individual and group advocacy efforts, the Alliance has worked with WithoutViolence to develop a Global Advocacy Toolkit. The purpose of this Toolkit is to provide advocates with a common set of tools and messages with which to bring about greater political and programmatic priority for strengthening the social service workforce. It is based on evidence that shows that a strong social service workforce increases the effectiveness of programs for vulnerable families and children. The Toolkit includes lessons from behavioral science and original research on the most effective ways to communicate to policy and decision-makers. It includes case studies, stories, fact sheets and infographics. During Social Service Workforce Week 2017, we highlighted the many reasons greater advocacy is needed for the social service workforce to help in achiveing the SDGs and outlined the steps you can take to develop an advocacy strategy. Download the Toolkit and infographics to get started.
We encourage you to find opportunities to elevate the importance of a strong social service workforce. Conferences, UN days dedicated to specific topics, worker appreciation days, World Social Work Day and Social Service Workforce Week are just a few of the many annual events that can be a springboard for local advocacy throughout the year.