Consultation underway for the enactment of social work legislation
Kaieteur News – A series of consultations is underway to enact legislation to guide social work practices in Guyana. The discussions will include input from several stakeholder organizations, including the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, as well as the University of Guyana.
Director of Social Services Whentworth Tanner told Kaieteur News that the Ministry has been moving towards creating a Social Work Act, which will allow local employees to be licensed in the field.
He had explained that the Act will guide social workers and educate them on how to better solve challenges.
According to Tanner, this will help hold social workers accountable for the services they provide and “ensure people cannot practice if they do not adhere to the guidelines set out in the social work standards.”
Social workers are currently guided by a policy that has been drafted since the 1970s. In addition, the Ministry had developed standards to guide the workforce with the demands and expectations of quality social work practices.
The current standards of social work practice establish that continuous refresher courses are essential to ensure that they are at their best in interacting with the public. Among other requirements, the standards of practice include core values of respect for clients and colleagues, integrity in information handling and client excellence in moving up the ladder to professional success.
Given the need for consistency in social work practice, the Ministry of Human Services has been pressing for improvements in the services offered to citizens. Back in 2016, the Ministry first moved to regulate social work in collaboration with the University of Guyana, the Guyana Association of Professional Social Workers (GAPSW) and a donor partner, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Together, the stakeholder agencies created the social work practice standards.