Public welfare in the United States provides income and support services for much of society’s most vulnerable populations – children, older adults, and people with chronic medical or disabling conditions. Social workers in public welfare help these populations meet their basic human needs, either through direct services or as administrators, managers, and program evaluators of the public welfare system. Some supervise intake workers and caseworkers who provide direct services.
Social work in public welfare entails planning, administering, and financing programs, training and supervising staff, and setting and evaluating standards and criteria for service delivery. Public welfare offers many challenges that require creative thinking and leadership from professional social workers.
• Public welfare agencies
• Private welfare agencies