Day 5, September 28, Social Service Workforce Week
In our work over the past five years, the Alliance has heard from thousands of social service workers that they need greater support in order to better serve children and families. Over the course of this past week of Social Service Workforce Week, our goal has been to rally social service workforce advocates to jointly call for key actions.
But once this week is over, where do we go from here? What actions do we take? And how do we know if those actions are making a difference?
The Alliance network, working with our many partners including USAID / PEPFAR and UNICEF and the organizations behind the INSPIRE Implementation Handbook, has helped to establish a few key milestone indicators. These indicators are relevant to any individual or group providing social services, and can be measured at the national level and compiled at a global level.
- Existence of a government-led, national coalition to strengthen the social service workforce
- Existence of a national strategic plan on strengthening the social service workforce
- Existence of a normative framework on outlining/defining functions (roles and responsibilities) for social service workers and practice standards
- Budget and mandated institutions for planning, developing and supporting the social service workforce
- Nationwide comprehensive mapping of social service workforce regularly carried out and documented in an information management system
We will be tracking these indicators and several others across different countries to assess global progress in workforce strengthening. As noted on previous days during Social Service Workforce Week, the Alliance has supported workforce mapping processes to gather information about workforce structures and needs in 37 countries. But that is only one step in this multifaceted process that offers a baseline against which to measure future progress.
As a network member, we invite you to take part in this exciting process that will help us all see the change we are working to create.
- Help support or establish a national level government-led stakeholder leadership group or coalition in your country, whether you are a representative of a government, civil society, non-governmental organization (NGO), university, training institution, professional association, religious entity, national donor, multilateral, bilateral, or private sector. It’s an opportunity to work with others involved in planning, budgeting, managing and supporting your country’s social service workforce.
- Does your country have adequate data on the current structure and needs of the social service workforce? If not, advocate to the stakeholder leadership group to carry out a workforce mapping and help to gather data. The Alliance will soon be producing a mapping toolkit to help guide this work for national actors.
- Support the development and implementation of your national workforce strengthening strategy based on available workforce information. It is important that these strategies include a diversity of views and experiences, including those who access social services.
- Help measure and report on the indicators mentioned above.
- Get involved in advocacy efforts to ensure that social service workforce strengthening remains high on the global agenda.
- Let us know how your organization is contributing to any of these steps – we’ll feature good examples in our newsletters and reports so that other organizations can learn from your efforts.
- In case you haven’t read it yet this week, take a look at the Call to Action!
- The Global Advocacy Toolkit for Social Service Workforce Strengthening is full of useful tools and inforgraphics that are available for your use.