Hats off to John Twardos for his insightful Iowa Ideas column calling for greater investment in the dedicated professionals who provide care and support for so many children and families (“Why Iowa Should Invest in its Human Services Workforce,” Aug. 29). Mr. Twardos hit the nail on the head when he highlighted the enormous challenge we face in ensuring our skilled workforce of social workers, therapists, nurses and direct care professionals are able to stay on the job.
As one of the largest and most broad-based nonprofit networks of health and human services providers in the U.S., more than 100 of our health and human services member organizations at Lutheran Services in America — including Lutheran Services in Iowa which Mr. Twardos leads — play a leading role in serving thousands of at-risk children, youth and families. Through our collective work, we see firsthand the vital need for states and the federal government to invest in a solid and stable human services workforce. Where will we be in months and years to come if we cannot retain and build a devoted, talented workforce serving at-risk children by choosing to skip investing in such a necessary, worthy cause?
The simple truth is if we don’t invest in a skilled workforce today, we are guaranteed to lose out on two enormous opportunities — an improved system and stable workforce that delivers more cost-effective outcomes, and very likely the power to utterly transform countless young lives in America.
President and CEO
Lutheran Services in America