Child Poverty, Unemployment, Homelessness: The Role of Social Workers in America

by Claire Quiney

Social Workers

Falling Through the Cracks: Why Social Work is Important The range of ailments and bad situations in which social workers help is astounding. With over 600,000 in the US today, there’s more need for even more social workers than ever.[1]

What do they do?
Support communities in need:
(including those dealing with…)[2]
Poverty
Discrimination
Abuse
Addiction
Physical illness
Divorce
Loss
Unemployment
Educational problems
Disability
Mental illness

Homelessness
What is it?[3]
Definition: lacking a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence
or, when a primary residence is a temporary place for people about to be institutionalized
or, any place not meant for regular sleeping and accommodation by humans
or, a supervised, temporary shelter.

Over 600,000 Americans are homeless on any given night. [11]
with around 65% living in emergency shelters or transitional housing
and 35% living in unsheltered locations

Abuse: A new child abuse report is made every 10 seconds[5]
With 4.5 American children dying per day because of maltreatment.
Types of child abuse:
Neglect: 78.3%
Physical Abuse: 18.3%
Sexual Abuse: 9.3%
Psychological maltreatment: 8.5%
Medical Neglect: 2.3%
Other/unknown: 10.8%

By the numbers:
(substantiated instances,roughly, 2012)
Neglect, 500k+
Physical abuse, 120k
Sexual abuse, 60k
Psychological maltreatment, 50k
Medical neglect, 10k
Other/unknown, 70k

And it pays off. Because with help, bad outcomes can be avoided.
Children experiencing child abuse and neglect are 9x more likely to become involved in criminal activities.
Totaling 14% of men in prison
and 36% of women in prison
Were abused.

Other outcomes:
Abused children are 25% more likely to experience teen pregnancy
And engage in sexual risk taking. Leading to STD’s
2/3 of people in drug abuse treatment facilities report being abused or neglected as children.
With 1/3 of abuse or neglect reporting adolescents having a substance use disorder by the age 18.

Poverty: 15% of Americans life at or below the poverty line[6]
That’s at least one person in any room of ten.
Or 46.5 million Americans.
Or 5.5 NY’s. Of people living in poverty.
–Including 16 million children.[7]
(22% of all children)

Federal poverty line = $23,500 for a family of four
Research shows that families need about twice that to cover basic income.

Over 1/3 children in Mississippi live in poverty.
While only 1/10 in North Dakota are under the poverty line.

Addiction
22.6 million Americans used illicit drugs last month. [10]
Leading to over 6 million children living with at least one parent with a drug addiction.
Most common illicit drugs:
Alcohol
Marijuana
Rx painkillers
Cocaine
Hallucinogens

RX drug abuse is on a two decade rise:[9]
The US is 5% of the world’s population
And we consume 75% of the world’s prescription pills.
With non-medical prescription drug use rising 500% since 1990.
Including non-medical use/abuse.

The numbers are massive, and it’s not for everyone:

Required education for social work:
Bachelor’s, Masters or Doctorate depending on position.
Average Pay: $53,000[13]
But without good social workers, whole sections of our nation are goners

Some well known social workers:
Two U.S. Senators and seven U.S. Representatives. These include: Sen. Barbara Mikulski (MD), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (MI), Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-9), Rep. Allyson Schwartz (PA-13), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1), Rep. Luis Gutierrez (IL-4), Rep. Niki Tsongas (MA-3) and Rep. Susan Davis (CA-53). [2]

Are you up to the challenge?

Social-Workers_THUMB

Citations:

  1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/social-workers.htm
  2. https://www.socialworkers.org/pressroom/features/general/profession.asp
  3. http://www.socialworkpolicy.org/research/homelessness.html
  4. http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/Mental_Illness.pdf
  5. http://www.childhelp.org/pages/statistics
  6. http://www.thenation.com/article/176242/americas-shameful-poverty-stats#
  7. http://www.nccp.org/topics/childpoverty.html
  8. http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k12/NSDUH115/sr115-nonmedical-use-pain-relievers.htm
  9. http://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics/infographics/popping-pills-prescription-drug-abuse-in-america
  10. http://www.michaelshouse.com/drug-addiction/the-statistics/
  11. https://www.onecpd.info/resources/documents/AHAR-2013-Part1.pdf
  12. http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/tables/43-children-in-poverty?loc=1&loct=2#ranking/2/any/true/868/any/322
  13. http://www.indeed.com/salary/Social-Worker.html
Articles by: Global Research News

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