The Role of Social Work Administrators in Child Welfare

Social work agencies are complex organizations that require strong leaders. Administrators are at the head of the organization navigating agencies through new regulations, policy changes, and confidently steering social work into the future.

Responsibilities of Social Work Administrators

Some of the duties of a social work administrator include:

  • Working at the macro level with child services and social workers
  • Focusing on the future of child welfare in different communities
  • Being a leader within the social welfare system as it serves and pertains to children
  • Developing an understanding of human behavior, culture and beliefs
  • Being committed to the ethics and values of social work
  • Maintaining a deep knowledge of social policy and how to best deliver social services to children and families.

Social work administrators are involved in making policies and procedures for the welfare of children in need. By implementing strategies and overseeing social work cases, these professionals ensure that children receive the best possible care. Administrators need to be well versed in:

  • Developing budgets
  • Understanding the needs of various populations
  • Developing programs to meet a child’s specific needs
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of current programs
  • Identifying areas where more support is needed
  • Developing social work policies and regulations
  • Managing community outreach initiatives

People who are interested in degrees in Social Work Administration and Management may find work opportunities with children in the following areas:

  • Family service agencies
  • Child welfare departments
  • Social service agencies
  • School personnel departments

Social work administrators need to make sure their social worker employees can identify strengths in the families in their care, and use those strengths to solve problems that both children and adults are experiencing.

Respecting Cultural Differences in Child Welfare

“As the United States enters the 21st century, the depth and breadth of society's most insidious ills continue to affect children profoundly. Racism, poverty, violence, and abuse of alcohol and other drugs impinge on the life of every child in the United States. Children are influenced by the society in which they are born and raised; they, in turn, influence society." — David Liederman, Child Welfare League of America, executive director

Understanding and respecting cultural differences is crucial in providing social work for children, as culture may have a strong role in their development. Decisions in the best interest of the child must be made with an understanding of each family's nurturing culture. It is the job of the administrator to make sure their staff understands the importance of cultural differences.

As a social work administrator in child welfare, you should strive to lead an organization that has an impact on society’s future.

The children of today will create the society of tomorrow, and they will do it based on the experiences they have in their young, formative years. By ensuring these positive experiences, by promoting excellence in social work among staff, you will bring a better future forward for everyone in our communities.

To download a comprehensive guide to working with children, click here.