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Kentucky Social Service Workers in Crisis


Anita Barbee. Photo courtesy of the Courier-Journal.

Budget cuts, staff reductions and heavy caseloads are hampering the ability of Kentucky social service workers to protect children, according to this article in the Courier-Journal.

Kentucky has about 1,300 social service workers, down from 2,000 a decade ago. At the same time workers are under increasing scrutiny over recent child death cases.

The situation has gotten so bad some workers are breaking down on the job, suffering from health problems or just quitting, observers said.

“It is a crisis,” said Anita Barbee, a professor at the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work and a National Association of Social Workers member. “It’s the constant erosion of the workforce, and cuts in services that have gotten us to this crisis.”

To learn more about how social workers help young people in crisis, visit the National Association of Social Workers’ “Help Starts Here” Kids & Families Website by clicking here.

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