In November 2010, staff members from the NASW’s Human Rights and International Affairs department participated in the “Social Welfare Workforce Strengthening Conference: Investing in those who care for children” Conference in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference is part of a long-term effort by the US government and other donors to draw increased attention and mobilize additional assistance for social workers worldwide who work with children who are vulnerable to abuse, violence, exploitation and neglect. Like the health sector, the social service sector struggles to attract and retain qualified workers. Vacancy rates for established professional and para-professional positions within Africa range between 50%–60%, and half those employed leave their jobs within five years (as compared to seven years for healthcare workers). These statistics indicate a global crisis within systems of care and support for vulnerable children and a serious threat to global development.
The NASW’s HR&IA department has produced a conference report to present summaries of the conference presentations and discussions. Please click here to view the report.