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02/13/2017 Action Alert: Urge Senators to Support Four Year Degrees for Caseworkers

Submitted by Sean Hennigan on Mon, 02/13/2017 - 8:00am

Will Francis Presentation | Purple Postcard Campaign--Texas Council on Family Violence

ACTION ALERT: There are two bills related to education requirements in the workforce: SB 429 in the Senate & HB 634 in the House.  SB 429 is less permissive, requiring a 4 year degree in social work or a human services related field, and HB 634 requires a minimum of any 4 year degree.  46 states require a 4 year degree, many require a human services degree or experience in this area, and of the 3 states that do not require at least a Bachelor’s degree, two require more prescriptive measures than Texas and one, South Dakota, doesn’t hire anyone with less than a 4 year degree even though it’s not in policy.

Proponents of the lower degrees talk about expanding the workforce, but with the recent $12,000 raises for caseworkers, and the need to develop training that builds on the human services education that staff bring to the agency, it is imperative that the Department hire workers with 4 year degrees to ensure that families involved in the system receive meaningful contacts.

Social Workers have a long history within the child welfare system, and are vital to developing outcomes that support youth and their families as they seek stability and recovery.  Social work degree curriculums always include the fundamentals of child development, systems theory, client-centered approaches to interventions and the framework of the child welfare system in school.  Research shows that children in the child welfare system who have caseworkers with a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree of Social Work have better outcomes, including shorter time in  out-of-home care, increased adoptions, and a lower likelihood of being removed from their  homes.

Take Action: Call the senators listed on this action alert and tell them you want CPS caseworkers in the state of Texas to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in social work or human services.

Click here for a list of local numbers for each member of the Senate Human Services Committee (NOTE: toll-free numbers coming soon.)

Sample Script

Hello, my name is                   and I live in ___________. I am calling to thank Senator     __  for his/her service this Legislative Session and to let you know that I and members of my congregation are praying for the Representative/Senator and his/her staff.

As a person of faith (or clergy) I want to urge Senator _______________ to support Senate Bill 429, which would require a minimum of a social work or human services degree for CPS caseworkers. (If your congregation has a relationship with local CPS—for example if you have met with them to support programs that prevent child abuse and neglect, you could mention that and discuss what skills you think are valuable in caseworkers..)

I know you will be hearing public testimony on Senate Bill 429 when it is scheduled for a hearing soon, and I urge you to support the bill and other.  

Don’t forget to thank the staff member you are talking to at the end of the call, even if they express concerns about the bill—they are working hard and appreciate being appreciated!

In the past members have occasionally blocked our toll free number because of high call volume from people of faith. We want them to hear your voice, so if you call twice and received busy signals, email and we will update the number.


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