The child welfare workforce is a valuable and integral part of communities across the United States. Child welfare professionals work hard to protect children and strengthen families, often in challenging circumstances without thanks. Celebrating, expressing gratitude for, honoring, and supporting the workforce is critical and aligns well with taking a strengths-based approach to the field. This section includes articles and resources highlighting the importance of expressing gratitude and practical ways to honor child welfare professionals in the community.
- General appreciation State and local examples
- Child welfare worker recognition day
- Child welfare worker appreciation week
- National social work month
All Children - All Families 2020 Report: Change-Makers in Child Welfare 2020 (PDF - 4,190 KB)
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (2020)
Celebrates 100 child welfare organizations and specific employees within them for making progress toward becoming fully LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) welcoming and affirming. The organizations are categorized into three different tiers of LGBTQ inclusion.
Beyond Quick Fixes: What Will It Really Take to Improve Child Welfare in America? Paper Two: Caseworkers Are First Responders. They Deserve the Same Professionalization as Other Essential Personnel (PDF - 323 KB)
Public Consulting Group, Inc.
Explores the current status of child protection services in the United States and proposes to address its challenges, emphasizing the importance of the child welfare caseworker while making the case for further professionalization of caseworkers. Recommendations to elevate caseworkers to the status and comparable benefits of other first responders are made.
How to H.E.L.P. Child Welfare Professionals in Your Community: Idea Guide (PDF - 4,014 KB)
Christian Alliance for Orphans, Foster Movement U (2016)
Focuses on how churches and faith-based individuals can support child welfare professionals in their community through the structure of H.E.L.P.: Honor, Encourage, Love, and Pray. This resource provides some tangible and practical ways to thank and honor the workforce.
Impact of Public Perceptions on Child Welfare Workers (PDF - 188 KB)
Lawrence, Zeitlin, Auerbach, Chakravarty, & Rienks (2019)
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute
Summarizes a one-page document describing the influence public perception can have on child welfare workers. The resource highlights what the article is about, its findings, and the implications for practice.
Making a Difference for Kids and Families Doesn’t Require a Cape
Christian Alliance for Orphans
Describes how foster care advocates and parents make a difference through seeing challenges and willingly responding to them.
One Heart Can Make a Difference: Impacting Lives Through Dynamic Service Excellence [Video]
National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) (2018)
Celebrates Workforce Development Month in September through a video recording of a live event whose purpose was to honor the child welfare workforce. NCWWI and Associate Commissioner of the Children’s Bureau, Jerry Milner, share the importance of celebrating the workforce. Mark Anthony Garrett, the keynote speaker, shared his story of being impacted by workers and encourages workers to remember the difference they make every day.
An Open Letter to Social Workers Everywhere
Christian Alliance for Orphans
Acknowledges, recognizes, and thanks child welfare workers for the difficult and emotionally challenging work they do in the format of an open letter.
Thank You, Child Welfare First Responders!...Where Every Day is a "Hurricane" and a Constant State of Trauma
Corrigan & Foltz (2017)
Discusses the importance of thanking and treating child welfare workers as first responders, describes the challenges child welfare workers experience, and encourages technology- and data-based solutions to better support workers.
Why Workforce Development Matters: Child Welfare Workers Making a Difference Day by Day
Briar-Lawson & McCarthy (2019)
Children’s Bureau Express, 20(5)
Details the importance of child welfare workforce development and how it is a priority of the Children’s Bureau. Additionally, the article highlights the work of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute and the Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development.
Child Protective Services Board: CPS Worker Appreciation Events/Activities
Travis County Health and Human Services Department (2019)
Explains the relationship of support and appreciation that this Texas County’s Child Protective Services (CPS) Board provides for CPS workers. To find this information, click on “CPS Worker Appreciation/Events” under the Initiatives section of the page.
Child Welfare Workforce: A Different Kind of First Responder - Stories From the Field
Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services, Social Work Services (2018)
Shares stories of inspiration regarding child welfare workers from the perspective of a fellow child welfare social worker.
A Desire for Impact: Celebrating the SOS Illinois Case Managers
SOS Children’s Villages Illinois (2019)
Describes the impact that case managers of SOS Children’s Villages Illinois make and how it is being celebrated
It's Not for Everyone, It's for People Who Want to Make a Difference
Colorado Department of Human Services, CO4Kids (2018)
Details 5 ways to celebrate Workforce Development Month in the child welfare workforce. Also find CO4Kids’ post on honoring Child Welfare Life Changers.
State Honors Child Welfare Professionals, Volunteers for Exceptional Service to Children and Families in Michigan’s Foster Care System (PDF - 192 KB)
Michigan Courts News Release
Describes how the State Court Administrative Office Foster Care Review Board chose six award winners to be honored for their work in the child welfare field.
Child Welfare Professionals Recognition Day 2019 [Video]
Children’s Home Society of Florida (2019)
Wishes child welfare workers at Children’s Home Society of Florida a happy Child Welfare Professionals Recognition Day while showing pictures of their appreciation event and highlighting celebratory agency statistics.
Child Welfare Worker Recognition Day – September 20th
Children’s Home and Aid Society
Describes child welfare workers as superheroes who partner with children and families in light of Child Welfare Worker Recognition Day on September 20.
City Honors Child Protective Specialists With First-Ever Appreciation Week
Details how New York City is working toward child protective services workers receiving the same honor, recognition, and thanks as other first responders by creating a city-wide appreciation week just for them with special treats, shout outs, media campaigns, and events.
DHS Honors Child Welfare Workers During Social Work Month
Lincoln City Homepage (2019)
Shares how the Oregon Department of Human Services honored social workers and child welfare workers during National Social Work Month in March. Their efforts included appreciation messages to staff and volunteers and the presentation of an award for excellent leadership and achievement.
Florida Coalition for Children and Statewide Partners Celebrate National Professional Social Work Month
Florida Coalition for Children (2019)
Describes the coalition’s “Thank A Social Worker” campaign for National Social Work month in March. Through these efforts, workers who make a difference in the child welfare system are honored and promoted.
Honoring Social Workers (PDF - 1,249 KB)
Alliance for Child Welfare Excellence (2018)
Contains several articles, including a poem, on honoring social workers in child welfare within the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services. The newsletter’s theme was aligned with National Social Work Month in March.
Social Work Appreciation
Shares how churches in this Fostering Hope’s community thanked social workers in foster care and prevention through hand-written notes, food and treats, gift cards, a photo booth, and therapy dogs for National Social Work Month in March.
A Thank You to Social Workers in Foster Care and Adoption
SAFY of America (2019)
Describes how SAFY of America is promoting and celebrating social workers in foster care and adoption through National Social Work Month in March.