Social workers have always been vital members of the healthcare workforce, but the need for their special brand of care has become more important than ever as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the world. Unfortunately, social workers, like many others, continue to face unique struggles as Congress refuses to pass a new pandemic aid package.

“Sadly, quite a few of the families I serve experience domestic violence in their homes,” Kristina Johnson-Short, a social services specialist with the Division of Children Youth and Families in Washington state shared with reporters on a media call. “As Congress deliberates on another relief package, I would just ask them to…invest in states and localities so that our governments don’t have to face the choice of which vital services get cut.”

Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal, also participating in the conversation, called for increased and ongoing unemployment assistance and aid for local and state governments. Her words were echoed by AFSCME President Lee Saunders, who warned “Without robust state and local aid, we can’t successfully contain and control this pandemic.”

Read more details of the conversation here.