Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois Recognizes Social Work Month
Among the unsung heroes during the Coronavirus pandemic are social workers who have been on the frontlines along with doctors, nurses, grocery store staff and other essential employees working every day to help our families and communities.
"Here at Lutheran Children and Family Services of Illinois social workers are an integral part of our work with children and families. As an agency that embraces the values of social work, LCFS hires both professional social workers, as well as employees from other disciplines to help us meet those values,"offered Mike Bertrand, president and CEO of Lutheran Children and Family Services of Illinois.
With March being National Social Work Month, LCFS of Illinois is joining with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) to remember the many ways social workers support people, including providing mental health and substance use disorder treatment, assisting active-duty military, veterans and their families, in schools, helping children get the services they need to get the best possible education, and protecting children from abuse and neglect.
Licensed social worker and Director of Clinical Services Brent Diers shared how the counselors and child welfare staff at LCFS of Illinois have continued to serve foster children and their families during the pandemic.
"I'm proud of how our therapists have been able to quickly transition to providing online counseling services. It's allowed them to stay connected with and effectively respond to the needs of children in care, while supporting their foster families who are dealing with parenting stressors brought on by the pandemic. At the same time, our truly courageous caseworkers are continuing to go into foster homes to ensure children are safe and progress toward their permanency goals aren't disrupted."
Unfortunately, there is a shortage of people entering the social work field all across the United States, and the child welfare workforce in particular is experiencing a turnover crisis. Caseworker turnover is approaching 50% in various labor markets across Illinois, while community-based organizations struggle to maintain a sufficient workforce of trained and experienced professionals, including social workers.
"We need more people who have a real passion for helping children and families thrive, and we need the resources appropriated in the FY22 state budget to recruit and support them," explained Mike Bertrand. "Social workers make invaluable contributions in our society, especially as this nation addresses the Coronavirus pandemic."
Mike Bertrand continued, "We are especially grateful for all the social workers who are a part of our LCFS family, and will continue to recognize their vital contributions to our communities."
ABOUT LUTHERAN CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES OF ILLINOIS (LCFS of Illinois)
Lutheran Children and Family Services of Illinois (LCFS of Illinois) is a non-profit dedicated to improving the well-being of people across the state by protecting children, strengthening families and building futures for those who have experienced trauma. After more than 148 years, LCFS of Illinois has grown into the second-largest community-based child welfare agency in Illinois, with regional sites in Chicago, Belleville, Decatur, Joliet, Kankakee, Mt. Vernon, Oak Brook, Quincy and Springfield. For more information, visit www.lcfs.org.