TANZANIA’S association of social workers (Taswo) is pushing for establishment of a national council to regulate and address various issues related to the social work profession.
Says Taswo national chairperson Dr Zena Mabeyo at the just-ended Annual General Meeting (AGM) held here: “…we have initiated the process that will allow establishment of the council legally.”
There at least ten learning institutions offering social work courses and the association believes lack of a statutory council had huge implications on maintaining standards and quality education.
Social work is a profession concerned with helping individuals, families, groups and communities to enhance their individual and collective well-being. It aims to help people develop their skills and their ability to use their own resources and those of the community to resolve problems.
“We need more trained and wellequipped social workers to help sustain the community development,” Dr Mabeyo said at the meeting. “The country faces a number of challenges that if social workers are fully utilized can help spur economic and social development.”
One of the greatest challenges facing the profession include lack of private consulting rooms, the association says. As it stands now, social workers at district levels were all grouped in a single room handling different cases, at a time when most of them need strict privacy.
The association launched commu nity social work programmes targeting to recruit and train social workers to work at the village level.
Dr Tuhuma Tulli, chief of Party of a Public Health Consulting firm, JSI, says that at the National Conference on Social Work and Social Development --a pre-session to the AGM-- her company was committed to work with social workers to improve service delivery, especially dealing with the welfare of a child.
She said the firm was now training social workers on what she described as the national integrated case management system, initially rolled out to 14,000 health providers across the country.
The meeting brought over 200 participants from Coast Region, Mtwara, Morogoro, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Pemba, Unguja, Dodoma, Mara, Shinyanga, Iringa, Mbeya, Ruvuma, Rukwa, Kigo ma, Katavi, Tabora, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Geita, Simiyu and Njombe.
Ms Ziada Mkinga, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children said the government is committed towards improving the profession. She said the government will also review the laws and policy governing the sector to meet the current demands.