As we begin Social Worker Appreciation Month, we wanted to express how grateful we are for the hard work and tireless dedication of all our social workers across the Commonwealth. These are the people holding the hands of the children in our care who may be sad and missing their families, helping families make ends meet through unstable times, and connecting individuals with community-based support services to help them take advantage of the Commonwealth’s opportunity now and in the future. Social Workers are the encouraging families and individuals to do better, even when they feel the weight of the world on their shoulders. In short, Social workers are a lifeline for so many children and families who have no one else to turn to.
And Governor Deval Patrick is as dedicated to the success of our social workers, as they are to the success of the children and families they serve.
Governor Patrick’s $9.2 million budget investment and additional supplemental budget funding will allow the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to hire more additional staff to move towards our 15 to 1 caseload goals. Many social workers have already been added to the ranks and even more social workers have been promoted to positions of additional responsibility since January 1, 2014. In addition, while we look to make new hires, retired social workers have been identified to begin work in the near future to support DCF for a period of time. We are dedicated to these recruitment and staffing efforts throughout the department, because we are dedicated to the social workers that provide support to some of our Commonwealth’s most vulnerable.
The Governor is also making mobile technology support for social workers a priority, so they can focus more on social work and less on paper work. The first set of mobile tablets are being programmed with our software and will be distributed to on-call DCF supervisors in the coming weeks. This initial technology deployment will be tested on a pilot basis with on-call supervisors, and the results of this pilot will dictate how we deploy additional technology solutions more broadly to DCF social workers in the field later this year. The technology will allow workers to access DCF case files remotely, enhancing our ability to communicate and record information on families, and eliminating existing lag time in processing reports.
We would be truly lost without the dedication and compassion of our social workers. Please join me commending and thanking these individuals who continue to make profound differences in the lives of thousands of children and their families across the Commonwealth.
For Social Worker Appreciation Month we are looking for success stories to highlight across the state. Please send along your positive social worker success stories to strongsafetynet@MassMail.State.MA.US.
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