Building a Global Social Service Workforce

May 5, 2014 |
On April 29, the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance hosted a Symposium entitled, “Supporting Families, Building a Better Tomorrow for Children: The Role of the Social Service Workforce.” The symposium, funded by PEPFAR and the National Association for Social Workers Foundation, provided a forum for practitioners, government representatives, researchers and other experts from around the world to discuss efforts to strengthen the social service workforce and advance systems and services for children and families. Dr. Caroline Ryan, Deputy Coordinator for Technical Leader at the Office of the PEFPAR Global AIDS Coordinator, provided opening remarks, and Susan Bissell, Chief of Child Protection, UNICEF, provided the Keynote Address.

Presentations focused on the role of the workforce in direct service to children and families, within community-based initiatives and in efforts to build linkages among various actors within the social service workforce as well as actors within other allied systems. The symposium was followed by a series of media events as part of the Alliance-sponsored Social Service Workforce Week. The events were intended to bring attention to and build support for the social service workforce as well as raise awareness about promising workforce strengthening efforts supported by stakeholders around the world. Each day focused on a different area of practice and encouraged Alliance members and the public to engage in a dynamic platform of information exchange and advocacy.

A well-planned, well-trained, well-supported social service workforce is essential to efforts to achieve all three principal objectives of the Action Plan for Children in Adversity. It is also central to supporting Objective 4: “Strengthen child welfare and protection systems.” For this reason, PEFPAR has provided significant support to the Alliance in the past year and sits on the Alliance Steering Committee. For more information about the Alliance Symposium, Social Service Workforce Week or other events and resources available through the Alliance, please visit the Alliance’s website.