For Immediate Release.
End the Shutdown. Social Work Call to Action
Social workers often serve the most vulnerable populations. With the recent sequestrations, the current government shutdown, and a looming federal default, clients and communities are facing devastating losses of safety net programs. In addition, many agencies where social workers are employed are already seeing funding crisis’ and they may incur larger cuts and even program closures if the shutdown continues much longer. Social workers currently employed in federal programs are being furloughed and facing unemployment. Without resources and potentially facing our own joblessness, it is difficult to give the help we are charged with providing.
The effect of a potential continued government shutdown is dramatic. National Guard and Reserve forces are being sent home, Veteran’s benefits have been impacted, Head Start programs are running on reserve money and many agencies have been cutting back or eliminating services altogether. Safety nets such as WIC, TANF, SNAP, and School Lunch programs will run out of money soon. In Michigan, 1.6 million residents rely on food assistance. With 41% of the State of Michigan’s budget relying upon federal dollars, it is especially critical for Michigan citizens to demand a stop to the shutdown.
According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, “In the event that a debt limit impasse were to lead to a default, it could have a catastrophic effect on not just financial markets but also job creation, consumer spending and economic growth…not only might the economic consequences of default be profound, those consequences…could last for more than a generation.”
Urge your Representative to act NOW to end the government shutdown and prevent the economic catastrophe of a government default, without conditions. Tell them to restore funding for all of the services that families count on and to protect Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and safety net programs such as food and housing assistance. Contact your member of congress today by phone at 1-888-659-9562.
Thank you for your advocacy and continued work during these challenging times.
Maxine Thome, PhD, LMSW, ACSW, MPH is the Executive Director of National Association of Social Workers – Michigan Chapter.