Employee turnover is fast becoming a major problem for nonprofits. A 2021 survey by the National Council of Nonprofits of over 1,000 nonprofit organizations found that 42% of responding organizations had job openings for 20% of their positions. Almost half of those responding had more than 30% of their positions vacant.
Many who pursue social work careers are naturally compassionate with a high degree of empathy and an even higher work ethic. These are attributes that lend themselves well to working with clients and colleagues but make the need for awareness of possible burnout critical. From poverty and homelessness to mental illness and substance abuse, social workers serve our world’s most vulnerable populations but too often forget they’re vulnerable too.
While serving their country, military personnel may encounter a variety of terrifying situation. Thousands of veterans have been left scarred by their experiences, leading to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Veteran's PTSD is a significant challenge and a serious issue, but many retired military personnel and their families are unaware of the diagnosis or where to seek treatment. Because PTSD has an impact on mental health and can be hidden, health professionals and other may find it difficult to assess its severity.
Let’s look at some tips and suggestions for assisting veterans and their families who are dealing with PTSD.
As stated in Article 40 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child:
"Every child in conflict with the law has the right to be treated in a manner that takes into account “the desirability of promoting [his/her] reintegration and [his/her] assuming a constructive role in society.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to recede after killing 1,000,000 of our fellow citizens in two years, social workers who deal in public policy are asking the question, "How did our society let this deadly disease get so out of control and do so much damage?"
Did you know that more than half a million homeless people in the United States?
That figure is concerning in general, but it is even more so when you consider that the causes of homelessness are easily remediable. Many people mistakenly believe that homelessness is the result of a person's own personal failures in life. That could not be further from the truth, as there are numerous other structural issues that are directly responsible for homelessness in America.
Let's look at how structural inequality contributes to homelessness.
Covid-19 is still a hot topic in both the national and international media. The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has caused widespread panic and has had a significant impact on the global economy. The number of confirmed cases fluctuates as one variant runs its course until another new variant appears. Countries are taking drastic measures to try to control the virus's spread and subsequent variants. Millions of people have died as a result of the virus, and many more have been infected. The pandemic has forced businesses to close, disrupted global supply chains, and caused global stock markets to plummet. Economists are concerned that the economic upheaval will continue indefinitely.
Turnover in child welfare case workers has reached troubling proportions. In any profession, an annual turnover rate around 10% is considered healthy. In child welfare social work, the most recent annual turnover rate was reported at exceeding 22% in some states. When we asked child welfare case workers that we communicate with on a regular basis what they think the problem is, the consensus was clear.
The focus of social work has shifted from providing immediate support as a safety net to the vulnerable to striving for a better long-term outcome for each client. In child and family services, the mission no longer ends at removing an endangered child from a dysfunctional household but now extends to how a Child Welfare Agency might help the child grow into a productive member of society. In other words, what will be the ultimate outcome for the child?
A case worker who has worked her entire career feeding the hungry in America recently told us:
"When I was a girl and hesitated to eat my spinach, my eagled-eyed mother would notice and say, ' What about all the starving children in China? Think of them and be grateful you have enough to eat. Finish your spinach.' Like so many other middle-class Americans, I believed hungry children lived in China, India, or Africa, not in America. I believed that until I went into social work at the largest food bank in Pennsylvania. That opened my eyes.