The Role of Social Service Workforce Development in Care Reform

Better Care Network and the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance

This working paper, produced by the Better Care Network and the Global Social Service Workforce Alliance, explores the topic of social service workforce strengthening as it relates to child care reform. It is intended to be a useful resource for reform efforts and a practical and accessible overview for use by policy-makers, practitioners, and service providers in contexts that are either considering the implications of care reforms for their social service workforce or are already engaged in a process and are searching for strategies to align and increase the effectiveness of the workforce to implement care reforms.

The paper illustrates key issues by drawing on the experiences of Indonesia, Moldova, and Rwanda, three countries in the process of reform, each within their own context and history, social and political system, protection structure and services, and social service education system. The case studies highlight each country’s reform processes and identify learning in terms of the approach taken to strengthen and align the social service workforce given the needs of the system, the scope and actors involved, and the different care reform strategies and outcomes. The case studies are presented with recognition of the ongoing and dynamic process and are examples from different stages and contexts of reform.

The paper concludes with lessons and recommendations based on the workforce strengthening strategies and learning identified from the case studies. It was informed by analysis of peer-reviewed and gray literature and key informant interviews with over 25 stakeholders.