Thursday, August 13

Social Workers bill to be tabled next session

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PUTRAJAYA: The proposed Social Workers Act aimed at improving the quality of social work services is expected to be tabled during the next parliamentary session, said Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

She said the ministry was gathering feedback from stakeholders and non-governmental organisations in drafting the bill.

The next round of discourses will be held in the northern and southern regions and east coast in April and May before the draft is finalised and submitted to the Attorney-General’s Chambers, he told reporters after opening a discourse on the bill yesterday.

Shahrizat said the enactment of the Social Workers Act would enable social work profession to be regulated as competent and knowledgeable social workers were needed to deal with rising social problems.

It will also enable social work profession to be turned into a promising career, she said, adding that several local universities were already offering social work studies in an effort to upgrade the profession.

National Joint Consultative Council on Social Work Education chairman Dr Azlinda Azman said the council was revising and streamlining existing modules in public institutions of higher learning in an effort to produce competent social workers.

“If social workers are not efficient, they could put elderly and physically challenged people, and children under their care at risk,” she in a paper entitled ‘Social Work Education and Training in Malaysia’.

Malaysian Association of Social Workers president Teoh Ai Hua said that among constraints faced in social work were recruitment unqualified workers, lack of financial incentives, heavy workload and non-existent of support system.

“Hence, it is difficult to retain experienced social workers as they change jobs after training due to a misconception that there is no future in the profession,” he said in a paper entitled “Social Services Quality Improvement Through Social Workers Competency Enhancement.” — Bernama