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New Report Shows Strong Social Services Improve Wellbeing of Vulnerable Children and Families

Press Release

June 10, 2015 - The social services that vulnerable children and families access are only as effective as the people providing them. The State of the Social Service Workforce 2015 Report, a new report released today by the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance, demonstrates that gaps in workforce support and funding negatively affect the quality and effectiveness of social services, leading to missed opportunities for improving the wellbeing of the world’s most vulnerable populations. The report is a review of the social service workforce in 15 countries.

Social service workers reunite families, provide critical psychosocial support, alleviate economic hardship, and address larger social concerns, such as poverty, discrimination and injustice.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Low ratios of social service workers to population reduce access to and quality of care (Nepal ratio = 1:115,800)
  • Lack of up-to-date data on this workforce negatively affects allocations of resources, resulting in decreased quality and availability of services
  • Many countries currently lack a registration and licensing system but have committed to implementing a system to increase standards for care
  • All countries in the report offer bachelor’s degrees in social work, yet only six have doctorate programs

A total of 365 participants joined today’s 2nd Annual Global Social Service Workforce Alliance Symposium, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through funding from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and included participants from UNICEF, USAID, PEPFAR, governments, professional associations, non-profit organizations and universities.

They reviewed findings from the report and discussed how planning, developing and supporting the social service workforce promotes the healthy development of children, strong families, and safe communities. The full report and executive summary are available on the Alliance’s website at

“This report aims to establish a baseline for collecting and sharing data in order for the right number of workers to be in the right positions and locations,” said Dr. James McCaffery, Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance. “Strengthening this workforce will ensure vulnerable populations have access to the care and support they need.”

The report profiles workers in different countries and their varying roles, including Daw Khin Htwe Kyi in the Department of Social Welfare in Myanmar. The country is developing a case management system to train and deploy case managers throughout the country. “The system will not only bring together different service providers, but importantly link these service providers with families who need the support,” she said.

The Global Social Service Workforce Alliance officially launched in June 2013. The Alliance’s mission is to promote the knowledge and evidence, resources and tools, and political will and action needed to address key social service workforce challenges, especially within low- to middle-income countries. The Alliance acts as a convener to share good practices, advance knowledge and advocate for workforce improvements to lead to better outcomes for children and families. Members of the Alliance span 66 countries.
Twitter: @SSWAlliance

Nicole Brown
Communications Manager
Global Social Service Workforce Alliance

Event Details:
June 10, 2015
8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST
United States Institute of Peace (USIP)
2301 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC
OR live webcast