BusinessDay

Social challenges hindering national growth – social works institute

The Chartered Institute of Social Work Practitioners of Nigeria said there are challenges relating to social development which have hindered national growth in Nigeria today.

According to the institute, it was in response to those challenges that the Nigerian government, established the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to contain the very many problems.

Oluwayemisi Obashoro, the institute’s president who stated these while briefing journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, also said the entrance of the Chartered Institute will help galvanise professionals and control professional practice.

Obashoro said, at a time like this, there is a need for the institutionalisation of strategic government partners to help the understanding of Nigeria’s economic realities, new strategies and goals, improve existing capabilities and draw up action plans to help address social concerns.

“Considering the critical shortage of social workers in our nation’s schools, where professionals are needed to help young people deal with complex issues such as trauma, poverty, and increasing addiction crises, the Institute’s new status is a great stride in the right direction.

“The Institute will embark on proper registration of existing practitioners into appropriate categories, train and retrain both existing and new members to meet up with the basic required practice standard as applicable worldwide.

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“Efforts will be made to position social workers in line with contemporary professions in Nigeria and set new agenda that is commensurate with international best practice.

“Membership will be open to Social Workers at the Officers level, Assistant level and Auxiliary level as well. Registration will be made available to qualified persons on all social work desks across MDAs, Civil Societies and International Development Agencies”, he stated.

Obashoro disclosed that in November this year, the Institute will hold her Annual International Conference which will feature the participation of delegates from different countries and all states in Nigeria.

He said: “The gathering will draw together leading professionals and stakeholders who will review and draw up the content for holistic action plan that will help address social issues in Nigeria and help reposition the practice to meet standard globally accepted professionalism. It is therefore on this note, that we call on every expert to join the work force and make conscious efforts to be part of history.

“On behalf of the Institute, we say thank you to every Nigerian, we look forward to the opportunity of sharing with colleagues, stakeholders, government agencies, civil society groups, media and all connected to the efforts we are making to bring an end to the many problems affecting quality of service within the profession and to reposition the institute to complement government efforts for a structured practice.

The president also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the recent assent to the charter of social work profession in Nigeria to ensure legitimate practice through adequate control and regulation.

“We must also commend the efforts of the Lead Ministries, The Parliament and all Stakeholders for the continuous push to ensure a better Nigeria for all through this process.

“The Institute is therefore mandated by law to carry out the following functions; determine the standards of knowledge and skills to be attained by persons seeking to become members registered as chartered social work practitioners, and raise the standards as circumstances may permit; secure in accordance with the provisions of the Act, the establishment and maintenance of register of members; build professional capacities and provide professional guidance,” he added.

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