Kansas lawmakers are considering legislation aimed at addressing a shortage of social workers in the state.

KCUR reports that low pay, challenging work and years of declining state funding have made it hard to hire and keep qualified social workers.  Advocates say the state’s unusually high standards are making the problem worse.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would bring Kansas closer to certification requirements in other states.  The state Senate unanimously approved the bill last month.  It now awaits a vote from the House of Representatives.

Advocates say it will motivate more social workers to seek jobs or clinical certification in Kansas while at the same time making it easier for state agencies, nonprofit groups and others to recruit workers.

The shortage particularly hits rural western Kansas.

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