3 Facts About Social Work and Child Welfare

By Sam Engel

One of the most important places in society in which a social worker is needed is in child welfare. Child welfare social workers provide a wide variety of services to make sure that children are not living in hazardous conditions. Therefore, social work in child welfare is extremely important and absolutely invaluable. Here’s three facts about child welfare social work!

  1. Socio-economic status affects the likelihood of child maltreatment. While child maltreatment occurs at all socio-economic levels, children who are of a lower socio-economic standing, especially those in poverty, are more susceptible to maltreatment and mistreatment. This is unfortunate, as the impoverished are even less likely to receive the necessary services that they need for a higher quality of life, leading to widespread frustration and potentially child abuse. Something to keep in mind: there are an estimated 13 million children currently living below the poverty line.
  2. Abused children have to take on more responsibilities than usual. Abused children often have to take on the role of a parental figure to younger or other siblings. On top of this, they often have to deal with their parents’ difficulties, and more likely than not, their parents’ drug addiction. That’s because about 2/3 of parents involved in child welfare have a substance addiction.
  3. There are many ways a social worker can help! This could include direct services to the child (such as crisis intervention) and holding an administrative position at a shelter.


DiNitto, D., & McNeece, C. (2008). Social work: Issues and opportunities in a challenging profession (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books