Improving child welfare is the motivation for many social work students that enter this dynamic field. Social workers have multi-faceted responsibilities, and the opportunities available for social workers are plentiful. It's important to understand how working within the community and building bridges among various organizations can improve society.
Social Workers Build Bridges to Different Child Services
As a social worker, you are in a unique position to help build bridges between service providers, police officers, school systems and public officials. You may be asked to find appropriate services for a family that needs housing, monetary support, fuel assistance, or counseling services. Creating a network of providers can aid your practice and the families you serve.
They must utilize central agencies, like child protective services to help provide safety and stability. Social workers can't provide all of the services needed by children and families. It takes more than a social worker to protect and care for a child. Children have a better chance of a successful and supportive upbringing when the social workers, emergency personnel, and schools work closely together.
Collaboration in Child Welfare Provides Additional Funding Opportunities
One of the biggest struggles for social workers in the field is funding services for children. Collaboration between agencies can allow for pooled resources to better support children. The child welfare system often requires creative problem solving in order to get the services children need. Whether the child is under the care of the state, or they are living at home with services in place, collaboration provides children with a larger pool of talented individuals to help solve problems before they turn into crises. Gathering together like-minded agencies will only increase their ability to help and sustain support for children who need their services.
Children Require Safety, Permanence, and Long Term Care for Success
The challenges faced by each family is different, and they will benefit from a specific plan to address their particular needs. While some families may have a strong support network, others may have problems with finding even the smallest amounts of assistance. The more diverse the network of helping agencies involved with a particular family, the more creative these agencies can be when trying to come up with a solution that supports the needs of the family.
Most importantly, children need to be kept safe. For a child to be successfully supported as they are growing up, there is a need for permanence in their lives. This means that children who linger in situations that aren't suitable, or who don't have a permanent home, may have a harder time dealing with stress. As social workers, it is critical to keep children safe, and plan for a permanent solution to provide for their long term care. With the right collaborative supports in place, children can succeed in today's world. By obtaining a Masters of Social Work, you will learn the skills and strategies that can directly impact a child and family’s life.