Department of Social Development Expresses Appreciation to Social Workers

In preparation for Human Rights Day on Monday, the Ministry of Social Development on Tuesday celebrated the country’s social workers on World Social Work Day.

The theme for this year’s Social Work Day is Co-constructing a new eco-social world: leaving no one behind.

In a statement on Tuesday, the department said it appreciated the crucial role social workers play in communities, adding that it also supported an initiative by the International Federation of Social Workers to raise awareness about climate change on quality lives and livelihoods of communities. .

He said: “Our country has suffered the devastating effects of changing weather patterns, as evidenced by droughts, wildfires and floods, which, among other things, are destroying homes and displacing people.

“Our social workers and social auxiliaries are always on the front line responding to the needs of communities in the event of a natural disaster.

The department called on all South Africans to work with social workers to ensure that communities participate in initiatives to promote the value of the environment.

“Let us support social work practitioners in their efforts to fully utilize and promote person-environment interactions as a contribution to the new eco-social world we all aspire to live in,” said Lindiwe Zulu, Minister for Social Development.

Zulu mentioned that the country is struggling with multiple social issues ranging from teenage pregnancy, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as gender-based violence.

She said: “Many households, especially those hardest hit by Covid-19, also rely heavily on social workers for counselling, psychosocial support and other varied interventions, including the provision of integrated services. of social protection of quality and ethical development.

“We saw social workers being a source of hope for people during Covid-19, when South Africans returned from Wuhan [in China where Covid-19 is said to have originated] during the first wave of Covid-19, and [during] the collapse of a church in Nigeria.

“The ministry recognizes that the profession of social work is still a critical skill required by the sector to implement key legislative frameworks that guide response and interventions on a variety of social ills and vulnerabilities.”

The Ministry has indicated that to further enhance the image of the profession, it will engage various networks to promote the integration of eco-social work practice into the training and practice of the profession.

He said: “Such an approach will be pursued in anticipation that social workers will be equipped to respond to community needs arising from the impact of climate and environmental change on the quality of life.

“Such awareness strengthens interventions for the social well-being of individuals, families, communities and society as a whole.”

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Anelisa Sibanda

Joel C. Hicks