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Social Service Workforce Strengthening Toolkit: Planning

Principles Related to Planning the Workforce

  1. Clear descriptions of functions, roles and the skills necessary to fulfil the responsibilities at each level in each field should be outlined in job descriptions.
  2. While definitions and job descriptions concerning para professional social service workers may vary between countries and programs all should meet some minimum functional definitions and standards.
  3. Employment opportunities, inside and outside of government, should be developed. Public-private partnerships need to be actively sought to facilitate the absorption of new graduates of training programs, with positions already approved in the schema of services offered.
  4. Opportunities for research that can demonstrate the impact of para professional social service workers need to be identified, promoted and utilized.

Resources Related to Planning the Workforce

The below resources are selected as best practice for information, tools and specifics related to planning the para professional workforce:

WHO Guideline on Health Policy and System Support to Optimize Community Health Worker Programmes

This resource related to community health worker remuneration, training and education, data collection, certification, career ladder, supervision, offers best practices that can be replicated by social service workers and other community service providers. The data demonstrates that when all of these factors are considered and met, CHWs are best positioned to provide needed community services and improve health outcomes.

Author(s): 
World Health Organization
Year of Publication: 
2018

The Role of Para-Social Workers in Creating Community-led Approaches to Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse: Case study on child protection within OVC programs

With guidance and training in child protection district officials and community leaders worked together to map vulnerable households and issues in communities, organize and fortify orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) response committees at the district and sub-county levels, and train PSWs to identify, report and respond to issues of child abuse, neglect and vulnerability.

Author(s): 
Suzanne Andrews, Catholic Relief Services
Year of Publication: 
2017

Home Visiting Programs for HIV-affected Families: A comparison of service quality between volunteer-driven and paraprofessional models

Home visiting is a popular component of programs for HIV-affected children in sub-Saharan Africa, but its implementation varies widely. While some home visitors are lay volunteers, other programs invest in more highly trained paraprofessional staff. Results suggest that programs that invest in compensation and extensive training for home visitors are better able to serve and retain beneficiaries, and they support a move toward establishing a professional workforce of home visitors to support vulnerable children and families in South Africa.

 

Author(s): 
Rachel Kidman, Johanna Nice, Tory Taylor and Tonya R. Thurman
Year of Publication: 
2014

The Impact of Community Caregivers in Côte d’Ivoire: Improving Health and Social Outcomes through Community Caregivers

This study sought to understand how community caregivers impact access to health care and social services for these children and families. The study found that households that received community caregiver support received better care and had better clinical and social outcomes than those not being supported by a community caregiver. Programs should consider using community caregivers to support adherence to treatment, improve psychosocial wellbeing of caregivers and children, and increase overall access to needed services.

Author(s): 
Andrew M. Muriuki, Samuel Y. Andoh, Hannah Newth, Kendra Blackett-Dibinga, Djedje Biti
Year of Publication: 
2014