America's most vulnerable people face a litany of challenges to living a decent quality of life. To meet those challenges, Social workers are at the frontlines. They utilize every available resource to provide a range of critical services to aid those in need. At a time of dwindling resources, the noble mission of social workers is needed now more than ever before.
March is Social Work Month, and I am a proud member of this often underappreciated profession. I applaud the efforts of these dedicated professionals who are indeed the foot soldiers on the ground in our effort to uplift those struggling to survive, such as the elderly, disabled and impoverished children. Social workers are a critical part of the safety net that prevents people from spiraling down into despair.
When I was active in the social work field, I took very seriously the mission of ensuring that those under my care had access to quality education, health care, and employment opportunities. Now, as a Member of Congress, I continue my dedication to improving the lives of Americans through advocating for fair and just policies and sponsoring legislation to further those aims.
As the founder and chair of the Congressional Social Work Caucus, I have a national platform to voice what needs to be done legislatively. Unfortunately, our social safety net has holes that many in Congress want to ignore. I cannot be silent and look the other way while the most vulnerable Americans continue to suffer.
For example, Social Security is under attack. Millions of retired and disabled Americans depend on Social Security benefits to pay for their most basic needs. These people would live in poverty without this benefit that they earned. I am committed to protecting Social Security from unwise budget cuts that would diminish the decent quality of life that all Americans deserve.
Also, many in Congress want to make drastic cuts to Medicaid funding. We cannot allow that to happen. The health of those living in poverty--especially children--would suffer. Furthermore, imprudent cuts to support public health could unleash a serious health crisis in our nation. For instance, we have had success in reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. But that success could reverse easily and disproportionately impact those without health care insurance.
Education is another area of concern. As a social worker, former educator and grandparent, I understand the struggles of those who want to provide their children with the best education possible. We, as a nation, cannot reach our full potential if we fail to educate all of America's children properly, particularly those that have fallen through the cracks.
I salute the social workers on the frontlines and pledge to fight in Congress to give them all the resources they need to achieve their noble mission.