Let's Stand Together for Social Workers
A joint ASEAN-UNICEF campaign to celebrate and reinforce the importance of social workers and the work they do in the region
The social service workforce is instrumental in supporting the most vulnerable and marginalised communities, promoting social justice, reducing discrimination and causes of inequality, alleviating poverty, and promoting resiliency to shocks. Without their contribution, we cannot attain the Sustainable Development Goals and effectively mitigate against the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
However, their value is not widely recognized in the region. While the job of a social worker is skilled, complex and challenging, in most South-East Asian countries social work is still not recognised as a profession by law. Instead, they are viewed as carrying out charity work. Limited public understanding of their role and value impacts demand for services and investment in social work. The need to tackle negative public perceptions was recognized in the Hanoi Declaration for Strengthening Social Work for Cohesive and Responsive adopted by the ASEAN Heads of State in November 2020.
To raise awareness of the critical role the social service workforce plays in the lives of children, families, women and communities in the region, on World Social Work Day 2021, ASEAN and UNICEF East Asia and Pacific launched the #StandTogetherforSocialWorkers campaign.
This joint campaign highlights the wide-ranging role played by social workers, including for families in economic crisis, children and families hit by natural disasters, for children and women suffering violence, children separated from their families, children in conflict with the law, and children with disabilities.
We hear directly from social workers across the region, not only about their contribution to supporting vulnerable communities and their recommendations for strengthening social work, but also what drew them to the profession and what motivates them to continue.
The first set of inspiring stories can be found below. Additional stories from social workers in other countries in the region will be added during the course of the campaign.
The campaign message is clear – we must collectively recognize the invaluable contribution of social workers and ensure they are effectively supported to be equipped to provide vital support to communities and the most vulnerable in our societies, including children.
Let’s #StandTogtherforSocialWorkers – Back social workers, so they can support the most vulnerable children, families and communities!
While passion for the work drives many social workers, they must receive the recognition, investment and support to deliver for the most vulnerable in society.
Social workers are society's unsung heroes supporting vulnerable children, families and communities.
"I hope all children in this world, including in Indonesia, live happily and prosperously"
By valuing social workers such as the heroes they are and by investing in their field, we can secure a better future for millions of children and vulnerable families