Social work professionals continue to play key roles in child welfare direct practice, supervision, administration, research, training, and program and policy development. However, despite the long history of connections between social work and child welfare, child welfare agencies have difficulty in recruiting and retaining qualified staff. This is due to high caseloads, poor working conditions, limited resources, low salaries, declassified positions, policy and values confusion, no clear career path, and lack of quality supervision. Furthermore, the expanding opportunities for professional social workers in a variety of practice areas, combined with the difficulty of working in child welfare, often leads social workers toward other fields of practice.


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