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Jill Biden says social workers will be trained to help troops

Dr. Jill Biden. Photo courtesy of the White House.

Social workers will have access to courses and be able to earn professional accreditation to provide services to troops returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, Dr. Jill Biden,  wife of Vice President Joe Biden, said Wednesday at the National Association of Social Workers’ Hope Conference.

Jill Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama are co-founders of the White House Joining Forces Initiative, a program that encourages Americans to find ways to support military personnel and their families.

“Our veterans and military families are among the most resilient men and women I have ever met, and I am always inspired by them. But they have shouldered a tremendous burden, and for those who need some additional support, we need to be ready to help,” Biden said.

According to this article in the Army Times, NASW will offer a free online training course on military culture, advocacy, practice and professional standards, a professional credential for social work with veterans and military families, and standards of practice for helping this group.

“This is a fascinating way to help our social workers across the country work with doctors and nurses to be sure veterans and their families are getting total care,” NASW Executive Director Betsy Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH, said.

The National Association of Social Workers is committed to supporting the health and welfare of the our veterans and their families. Professional social workers can find resources to help veterans by visiting the NASW “Social Work with Veterans and Military Families” website by clicking here. And consumers can learn more about the services social workers provide veterans and their families by visiting NASW’s “Help Starts Here” Veterans Affairs website by clicking here.

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  1. Thanks to Jill Biden for encouraging social workers to reach out and assist military service members. Most of the effort has been on recruiting “clinical licensed social workers.” However, there may be other areas where social work skills are needed.

    For example, I volunteered this past weekend at a Yellow Ribbon Event for service member returning from deployment. It was a an honor to provide a briefing on free mediation and ombudsman services available to assist service members in the resolution of work or school-disputes issues related to deployment. I am an ESGR Ombudsman/Mediator and Assistant Chair for Southeast Pennsylvania, and a doctoral level, LSW social worker.

  2. Kudos to Dr. Jill Biden and our first lady! We need to ensure that service members, veterans and their families receive quality treatment by professionals who are aware of the different needs and resources available to them. I am in the process of developing a Certificate in Working with Military Members and their Families through Dominican University. This will be available for all post-masters professionals.

    I also own a website, that is a solution-oriented service for parents who are no longer together. We are offering membership for free to members of our military, veterans and their families as a way to say thank you for all the sacrifices you make.

    I sincerely hope social workers continue to “pay it forward” by offering services and resources to members of our armed forces.

  3. It’s great to hear about social workers’ accreditation for supporting veterans and their families. Their work is making a huge impact as we are learning from our study on stress and military families:
    -Jean Quam, CEHD UMN

  4. This sounds like a horrible idea. A better plan would be to have incentive for veterans to get into the field of social work such as free tuition for grad school since most veterans use up their benefits for undergrad than to train civilians to work on military and veterans’ issues. I do agree that more need to be done to help veterans like myself but because of the huge backlash from veterans against civilian VA employees and the much harm done to veterans by non-veterans I think that this is only going to make the situation much worst.

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