Social Work Development

Social workers play an important role in protecting children, including preventing and responding to violence. UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to develop and formalize social work in Viet Nam

Social Work Development
UNICEF Viet Nam\Truong Viet Hung

The Challenge

With rapid economic development, Viet Nam is increasingly confronted with complex child-related challenges. In response, the government has prioritized development of the social work profession with UNICEF at the forefront providing strong advocacy and technical support to ensure the country meets its ambitious target of one social work service centre per 713 districts and towns by 2020.

“The lack of trained social workers has constrained the quality of service delivery to children in need.”

While progress has been made in establishing such centres and introducing social work services to 80 per cent of central hospitals and 30 per cent of provincial ones, the lack of trained social workers has constrained the quality of service delivery to children in need. This is especially the case for children who experience violence, exploitation, neglect, disability, drug abuse or are in conflict with the law.

 

The Solution

Building on initial legislative steps, UNICEF is leading efforts to formalize social work as a legal profession to ensure centres are fully staffed and social workers can access vulnerable children across the education, health, justice and social welfare sectors in relevant settings.

“We are working to help integrate social work into relevant laws and policies to ensure protection of children’s rights.”

In helping build an effective social work workforce and service system underpinned by innovative and strategic models to improve children’s and their families’ access to services, we are also working with government and policy-makers to develop a law on the social work profession. This law will define the roles and functions of social workers and allow for the integration of social work into relevant laws and policies to ensure protection of children’s rights.