GIS –01 November, 2016: A National Certificate in social work practice will be introduced as from next year under a joint partnership of the Decentralised Cooperation Programme; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Trust Fund operating under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions.
The Minister of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, Mrs Fazila Jeewa Daureeawoo, made this statement, yesterday at Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebène, at the opening of a Consultative Workshop in the context of the proposal for setting up a National Council for Social Work. The event was organised by the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions, in collaboration with the UNDP.
According to the Minister, the launching of the new certificate is in line with Government’s strategy to professionalise the social sector and strengthen the capacity of NGOs. This initiative follows the successful completion of a pilot project on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in social work practice launched in June 2016. The first cohort of 32 NGO’s representatives have been RPL certified to an equivalent of a National Certificate in Social Work Level 2.
“The status of the pilot project has encouraged the Ministry to scale it up thus giving opportunities to other social workers to validate their competencies,” said Mrs Daureeawoo. Commending the important role of NGOs in complementing the social agenda, the Minister pointed out that the National Certificate in social work practice and the RPL programme will target some 150 social workers.
With regard to the National Council for Social Work, the Minister recalled the necessity for the Council to provide a regularity framework for social work practice that responds to the new needs in the social sector, customised to the Mauritian context, reflects the aspiration of the social workers. Mrs Daureeawoo elaborated on the importance of the Council for the establishment of standards of practice for social workers; the elimination of the potential for malpractices; the protection of beneficiaries and clients from abuse and neglect; and the recognition of the role and values of social workers in society.
A consultant has been appointed by the UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Security, National Solidarity and Reform Institutions since August 2016 for the setting up of a National Council of Social Work. The Consultative workshop will enable the consultant to gather inputs from all stakeholders namely representatives of Ministries, NGOs and the Academia, on the appropriate regulatory framework for social work practice. The framework will set the standards of practice as well as a register for social workers. It will also provide a mechanism to protect service users and address cases of malpractices, among others.
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