you get to be Esther Green in her role as a relatively new child welfare worker. Your supervisor wants to make sure you are staying up-to-date on current social policy areas that might affect your job. She has asked you to write a memo in which you choose one social problem from the policy priorities that are described by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF) (Link will open in new tab.) (Links to an external site.), a national advocacy organization with wide-ranging interests in making children’s lives better. Follow the prompts below to develop your memo.
In your memo, please include the following components:
- Describe the problem in one sentence.
- Describe at least one cause of the problem.
- Describe potential policy solutions to the problem.
Luckily, in addition to the CDF website, Esther also has her textbooks from her MSW policy class and can use Social Work Speaks and Chapters 4 and 5 as resources 200-500 words.
Esther Working as a Social Worker
Esther Green started working in the child welfare system after finishing her MSW at the University. She works in foster care placement, and usually has around 25-30 children on her caseload. Many days, she goes home feeling that she has made a big difference in the lives of children who really need her. But she struggles with the amount of paperwork required—some days she spends half of her time doing paperwork, because she fills out approximately 20 forms for each child. Some days that she is out of the office and in the field, she feels like she is a part of the community, although entering other peoples’ homes there is always a possibility for stress or conflict. Her experienced colleagues have encouraged her to advocate for her clients, to practice self-care, and to keep the values of the social work profession at the forefront of her mind.
One Monday, it has been a particularly challenging day at work. Toward the end of the day, Esther is trying to find a home for a 7-year-old girl named Tanya. The foster family she had been staying with had a family emergency and could no longer take care of her. Esther has called a number of families who are not available at the last minute. She is running out of options in trying to find her a new family, and is frustrated that there are not enough families and resources to give Tanya the stable home she needs right now. As she looks over at Tanya sleeping on the couch in her office, she wonders if she is doing enough to fix the system.