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National Plan on Social Work Graduates in the Pipeline

October 28, 2020

Department of Social Development

A National Plan to address the root causes of the failure to absorb social work graduates is to be developed.

The social development department announced this during an update briefing in parliament on the employment of social workers and the foster care backlog.

Included in the plan is that programmes must be aligned to the needs of the country; training programmes must adapt to changing social ills; the generic social workers approach does not address specific challenges and a database of unemployed graduates to meet the need of the districts is to be developed.

Other future plans include investing in Information Technology and Information Systems to improve on social work services and escalating the discussion on the need to employ social worker graduates to Cabinet especially at district and provincial level.

The department also wants to re-imagine a social development sector for the future.

The department pointed out that social ills in the country have increased and more social workers are needed to deal with the challenges.

The department added that there are approximately 9000 unemployed social work graduates.

Meanwhile, in another briefing on a foster care progress report, the department indicated that “provinces are extending the foster care orders through the Children’s Courts so that they have lapse dates that go beyond 26 Nov 2020 to avoid orders lapsing simultaneously on the 26 November 2020”.

The department added that, due to the cyclical nature of foster care, there is a projected balance of 33 748 to be completed before 26 November 2020.

The department is to approach the North Gauteng High Court for an extension of the court order so that the Children’s Amendment Bill can be processed in 2021.

The bill seeks to amend the Children’s Act of 2005 to address critical gaps and challenges in the underlying child care and protection system.

It also responds to a High Court order relating to foster care challenges and seeks to contribute to a comprehensive legislative system on foster care.