Social workers still battling to be licensed – GAPSW

first_imgWorld Social Work DayAs the world observes World Social Work Day, President of the Guyana Association of Professional Social Workers (GAPSW), Arnold Mickle, said despite being agents of change, social work in Guyana has been battling to have the profession licensed, but to date, the situation remains the same.Some of the social workers at the luncheon“We are supposed to be change agents and from since the time I did my diploma (a number of years ago) we were trying to be licensed and until now we can’t change that position and we are change agents. Other professions have done that, long time ago and where are we? The only way the social work profession can be professionalised is when we as individuals professionalise it,” Mickle said.He added that despite hundreds of social workers graduating from the University of Guyana over the years, the GAPSW only has approximately 15 to 20 active members. He noted that number has to be changed while urging social workers to be proud of their profession.He urged the social workers to do everything to change the perception of the profession. Mickle added that there is a great need for the professionalising of the social work profession.“We would want to change the perception of those who graduate from UG. We need to change the mindset of our practitioners because many persons do not professionalise their practice. You must professionalise your service delivery so the rest of the world can know the magnitude and importance of the work you do,” Mickle urged.In observance of World Social Work Day, the Social Protection Ministry hosted a morning of reflection and luncheon for social workers across the country at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown. World Social Work Day is observed annually on March 20, and this year, the theme is “Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability.”While delivering the keynote address, Permanent Secretary of the Social Protection Ministry, Lorene Baird noted that the theme is in keeping with the United Nations Strategic Development Goals as well as President David Granger’s green state development strategy.She, like others before her, noted that although social workers are highly trained and competent, their profession is quite often devalued owing to ignorance of the demands of their roles.“Although highly trained and competent, the sad reality is that the role of social workers can be lightened to that of an unglorified humanitarian who is always helping and extending themselves sometimes even at the risk of neglecting other personal areas of their lives. We are often guilty of devaluing their worth because social work is something seen as not being evaluated profession and people often underestimate what the profession entails,” Baird noted.“I would like to encourage social workers to continue being resilient and continue to fight for the change that you want to see as you endeavour to improve the wellbeing of society and the country as a whole,” she added.Meanwhile, Deputy Director of Social Services, Abike Benjamin-Samuels, said all over the world, social workers stand up every day for human rights and social justice to help strengthen communities adding that it is the broadest profession out there.Social Work Day is the key day in the year that social workers worldwide stand together to celebrate the achievements of the profession.last_img

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