Latest News and Articles

New Clues in the Mystery of Women’s Lagging Life Expectancy

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A new state-by-state study of the impact of economic and social environments on mortality found that where a woman live matters as much as who she is.


Do Your Friends Actually Like You?

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Recent research suggests that only about half of perceived friendships are mutual.


The Child Welfare Cartel, Redux

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In response to “The Child Welfare Cartel,” defenders of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) make three errors: First, restricting federal funds to schools of social work is not authorized by the statute cited in the creation of NCWWI. Second, social work is not the only discipline engaged in child welfare, denying the emergence of Child Advocacy Studies as a competitor. Third, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are not implausible in child welfare due to the complex issues presented by maltreated children and troubled families. This incorrect contention ignores the numerous field experiments deployed in psychology and nursing to the considerable benefit of those disciplines. Apologists for NCWWI thus make assertions typical of a cartel, resulting in outcomes that are unnecessarily substandard and expensive. If social workers are superior to nonprofessionals in child welfare, defenders of NCWWI should conduct an RCT putting that claim to test.


The Child Welfare Cartel

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The probity of the Children’s Bureau’s National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) is examined with respect to the status of child welfare as well as the performance of social work education. By requiring that funding go only to accredited schools of social work, which is not authorized by relevant provisions of the Social Security Act, NCWWI effectively establishes a cartel that excludes other disciplines. Alternatives to improve child welfare services and staff training are considered.


Strict Slaves of Slogans: Response to "The Social Work Cartel"

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The corruption of the social work enterprise is not simply episodic but systemic and long-standing including education, research, governance, and practice. Reform is unlikely since the constituency within the field and outside of it that wishes to change the situation is small and ineffective. The corruption of social work reflects the unfortunate social values of the nation that refuses to allocate sufficient resources to address deep social problems, notably economic and social inequality. Social work should severely cut back: eliminate bachelor of social work programs and reduce master’s education to no more than 20 programs that also offer doctorates but only jointly with social science departments. There are too many social workers and not enough good ones.