Western Cape Department of Social Development celebrates Social Work Month | Western Cape Government


Western Cape Department of Social Development celebrates Social Work Month

1 March 2024

For the month of March, we are honouring all those in the social service profession, as it is Social Work Month.

Under the theme of “empowering social service professionals”, we recognise and highlight the selfless work all social service professionals do daily, whether in government, NGOs, or the private sector.

“We have seen a significant increase in the demand for the services provided by the Western Cape Department of Social Development over the last few years. Issues of domestic abuse, gender-based violence, crime, poverty, child abuse and neglect, are worryingly high. Social service professionals like social workers, social auxiliary workers, and child and youth care workers, to name a few, are thus more needed than ever before,” says Provincial Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez.

The Department employs 754 social workers, 263 social auxiliary workers, and 712 social work professionals on various levels, such as social work supervisors and child and youth care workers.

DSD also funds or subsidizes over 1200 social service professionals at Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs), and more than 700 child and youth care workers at NPOs across the province.

We will be celebrating all those in the social service profession this month, like Natasha Daniels, a social work supervisor in the Delft Service Delivery Area (SDA).

“People often forget just how important social service professionals are. We often step in and to offer support and protection to the most vulnerable in our communities which can be rewarding but difficult work. The reality is, social ills are always going to be around, there will always be people requiring support, therefore there will always be a need for people who want to help and see people’s lives change,” says Daniels.

On the theme of empowering social service professionals, Gavin Barkley, a social work supervisor in the Elsies River SDA, says it must start with the basics.

“We need to empower ourselves. I’ve encouraged my team to empower themselves, like going for skills training and sharing what they learn with the rest of us. Each member will cover various subjects and we support one another. In this way, we are empowering ourselves with knowledge and skills which we can use when we go out into communities,” says Barkley.

“Since the theme for Social Work Month is about empowerment, I call on all those in positions of power, leaders in faith-based organisations and communities, as well as ordinary citizens, to support social service professionals in any way they can, because they are so crucial to the strengthening of our social fabric. They are the real change agents who do the unseen work to help the most vulnerable in society, without expecting any praise, all while facing various challenges, dangers, and trauma,” adds Provincial Minister Fernandez.

Media Enquiries: 

Monique Mortlock-Malgas

Spokesperson to MEC Sharna Fernandez

Department of Social Development

E-mail: Monique.Mortlock@westerncape.gov.za

Website: www.westerncape.gov.za