Social services are an ever-growing field in our economy. Social workers play a major role in an individual’s quality of life for populations of all ages.

With the increase in need for services, especially with the geriatric population increasing, it would be beneficial for the government to offer loan forgiveness for social work students. Loan forgiveness would make the field of social work more appealing to students who are deciding what degree to choose. Loan forgiveness would put social workers at ease for the future when the final paycheck adds up to $30,000 a year.

Although social services have been subject to recent cuts, loan forgiveness should be considered preventative care.

Some individuals need services and resources that social workers can offer them. If the number of social workers declines, these people may not be able to get the services or resources that they need. In turn, they become sicker or more helpless and may need more services.

If a social worker can help clients get these services from the beginning, they will stay healthier, and the cost to government ultimately will will be less.

Loan forgiveness would help professionals who struggle to repay their loans on a social worker’s salary. It also would help recruit qualified individuals into the helping profession, to the benefit of all in Maine.

Pamela Hashinsky