Social workers in training to better address sexual offences, domestic violence
Social workers from across the country are currently in the process of working along with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Ministry of Social Protection’s Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Policy Unit to improve and regulate social services across the country.
A large group of social workers on Thursday morning gathered at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown for a capacity building workshop geared at improving the state of Guyana’s social services.
Manager of the Sexual Offences & Domestic Violence Policy Unit, Akilah Dorris, indicated that social workers play a key role in addressing societal issues but need to be able to operate in a more structured system.
“Social workers seem to still operate in silos without regulations and without legislations, without policies in place that govern their practice,” Dorris said.
She noted that the Ministry of Social Protection in collaboration with the University of Guyana, the Social work Unit and the Organization for Professional Social Workers in 2016 held a conference for social workers and it was there that the need for Thursday’s workshop was conceptualized.
Director of Social Services, Wentworth Tanner, spoke to the issue of domestic violence and how the workshop seeks to empower social workers to address this issue in more effective ways.
“Domestic violence is serious problem in our nation,” he said, noting that the workshop is set up so that the social workers can intervene and act as a support person for victims.
Tanner said he is leading several initiatives geared at planning for, developing and strengthening the social service workforce.
A total of 125 social workers were gazzetted in 2018