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The Social Service Workforce

Who Is the Social Service Workforce?

The social service workforce is defined as being comprised of the variety of workers  – paid and unpaid, governmental and nongovernmental – who staff the social service system and contribute to the care, support, promotion of rights and empowerment of vulnerable populations served by the social service system. A social service system is understood as a system of interventions, programs and benefits that are provided by governmental, civil society and community actors to address both the social welfare and protection of vulnerable populations. It includes elements that are preventative, responsive and promotive. The system and the workers within it create protective environments for healthy development and well-being by alleviating poverty; reducing discrimination; facilitating access to needed services; promoting social justice; and preventing and responding to violence, abuse, exploitation, neglect and family separation.

Read more on how we're advocating for the workforce and strengthening the workforce. Also learn how this workforce provides critical support following emergencies.

Worker Profiles Highlight Diversity of the Workforce

Profile of Mercy Marina, a case care worker in ZimbabweA collection of worker profiles helps to shine a spotlight on various tasks and training of different types of workers, as well as what motivates them to stay on the job.

We also feature case studies or stories that capture the efforts and successes of this workforce. Our current featured stories:

Share your story of change or submit a profile. We look forward to sharing your work with the Alliance network!

Annual Symposium Raises Awareness, Grows Body of Evidence

The Alliance held its first Symposium in April 2014 to contribute to the growing body of knowledge regarding the role of the social service workforce in promoting strong families and better futures for children. In June 2015, the Alliance held the 2nd Annual Symposium. Presentations focused on ways in which planning, developing and supporting the social service workforce can lead to more effective services to children and families and stronger systems of care. The symposium webcast is available on YouTube. The symposium presentations and written summary are now available to download. The Symposium also acted as the distribution event for the first annual State of the Social Service Workforce 2015 Report. The 3rd Annual Symposium was held in June 2016 under the theme "Strengthening the Continuum of Care for Orphan and Vulnerable Children." The event coincided with the release of the 2nd annual report. A summary report and webcast recording are now available.