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Social Worker Skills Development

UNICEF, through the Department of Social Development, has facilitated training of social service professionals from government and NGO sectors at nine provincial training sessions to improve their knowledge of the referral system that will be used during the World Cup.

The Department of Social Development’s training programme was targeted at training approximately 1 000 social and child care workers at nine provincial training sessions and national training sessions. They also assisted with the training of NGOs involved in child care services.

The training focused on protocols and child protection procedures and will empower social service professionals to respond to children in need of care and protection. Ultimately, the project as a whole will contribute to and help strengthen the country’s child protection system as a legacy of the World Cup.

The promulgation of the new Children’s Act (Act No.38 of 2005) on 1 April 2010, has necessitated the training of social workers to ensure effective implementation of the provisions of the Act.  Specialised training is also included among the objectives of the South African government’s National Policy Framework and Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Management of Child Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation.

UNICEF introduced the first training sessions in March and April, with follow-up sessions scheduled for August and September. UNICEF believes well-trained social workers are able to intervene in the life of vulnerable children and to ensure the most appropriate social service intervention that will contribute to children‘s optimal well-being.

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