Social Workers Deserve Higher Pay Now

The Social Work Practitioner

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A September 2009 CNN·Money article listed 15 stressful jobs that pay badly.  Number 1?  Social worker – median pay: $43,200.

The article states:

“Social workers step in when everyone else steps aside to help people and families in vulnerable situations.  They provide patients with education and counseling, advise caregivers and make referrals for other services.  And with social workers in short supply and programs underfunded, few must juggle the work of many, while reaping little reward.”

An incomplete characterization, to be sure, but basically correct.

Why is this so?  Why is “the system” set up to pay social workers less than we are worth?  Because the value we derive… (Did I hear someone shout, “Because we let them!”)?  The value we derive from helping others is not salary-based.  We choose to go places most people don’t want to go, to stare into the twisted face of pain and feel the…

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