WORLD SOCIAL WORK DAY: HONOURING COMMITMENT AND CATALYSING CHANGE

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  • Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, extends warm wishes to all social workers in commemoration of World Social Work Day, emphasising the importance of embracing innovative, community-driven approaches.
  • The Department of Social Development recognises the pivotal role of social workers nationally and within communities, standing in solidarity with the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) to raise awareness about climate change impacts.
  • Amidst socio-economic challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, World Social Work Day serves as a vital reminder of the indispensable role of social workers and the government’s commitment to addressing these challenges through initiatives such as the Sector Strategy for the Employment of Social Service Practitioners.

In commemorating the World Social Work Day, themed “Shared Future for Transformative Change,” Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, extends warm wishes to all social workers.

This occasion underscores the importance of social workers embracing innovative, people-centred, and community-driven approaches rooted in indigenous wisdom and harmonious coexistence.

The Department of Social Development recognises and values the pivotal role social workers play both nationally and within communities.

Furthermore, the department stands in solidarity with the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) in its efforts to raise awareness about the impact of climate change on communities’ quality of life and livelihoods. In the face of extreme weather events and resultant hardships, social workers and social auxiliary workers consistently demonstrate their commitment by providing essential psychosocial support to affected individuals, enabling them to navigate through challenging circumstances.

Additionally, South Africa is grappling with the lingering socio-economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with issues such as violence against older persons, women, and children, substance abuse, and prevailing poor socio-economic conditions, all of which contribute to family dysfunction and community unrest.

World Social Work Day serves as an annual reminder to social work professionals and social auxiliary workers of their indispensable role and the urgent necessity of the services they offer to communities.

The department acknowledges that the social work profession represents a critical skill essential for implementing social work approaches, techniques, and skills, as well as key legislative frameworks guiding responses and interventions to address various social ills and vulnerabilities.

World Social Work Day provides a platform for key stakeholders to recognise social work as a vital profession crucial for the effective delivery of integrated, quality, and ethically sound developmental services.

The government values the participation of various departments and sector partners in global engagements aimed at continually enhancing the social work profession, ensuring its adaptability to emerging psycho-social-economic challenges requiring expertise, theory, and practical application in the field of social work.

Acknowledging the challenge of the non-absorption of social workers by the government, the Cabinet has approved the Sector Strategy for the Employment of Social Service Practitioners. Once implemented, this strategy aims to increase the employment of social workers and social auxiliary workers in the country, contributing to the target of having 55,000 Social Service Practitioners (SSPs) by 2030.

In addressing the nation’s escalating social challenges, government departments, including the Department of Social Development, have thus far employed 18,366 social workers.

 

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