Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare Minister Cde Prisca Mupfumira says her ministry is advocating for more social workers to be employed by government in view of the increase for their services in the country due to vulnerability which has been exacerbated by poverty and natural disasters.
Speaking to journalists, academia from different universities and representatives of social worker organisations, ahead of International Social Workers Day to be held on the 31st of this month, Minister Mupfumira said there are more than 600 unemployed social workers who can be utilised to ease the workloads and ameliorate problems being faced in communities.
She commended the critical role played by social workers in various areas of their practice in transforming the lives of affected communities in the provision of child protection services, counselling services and clinical social work to the hospitalised and advocating for the rights of the vulnerable in society.
Cde Mupfumira expressed appreciation of the leading role taken by social workers in responses to the climate change induced drought and Cyclone Dineo induced flooding and other disaster situations in which social workers joined government in responding to the emergency situations.
She expressed concern over the increase of murder cases, and rape, especially of children and girls, abuse of minors and urged social workers to not to remain silent in light of these social challenges saying they should endeavour to make society safe for all.
The International Social Workers Day is being held under the theme: ‘Promoting Communities and Environmental Sustainability’.
President of the National Association of Social Workers in Zimbabwe Mr Dennis Dzikiti said social workers and other professionals can play a huge role in promoting environmental sustainability.
He said the organisation has prepared a symposium in partnership with Bindura University of Science Education to generate knowledge in the area of environment.
He said as a profession with a long focus on helping persons in their environment, social work is expected to play a leading role in interdisciplinary efforts to fight environmental threats to the social well being of communities.
Mr Dzikiti said there is need to craft strategies to ensure social workers take part in attaining sustainable environmental management and that his organisation would want to see the environment agencies and local authorities employing social workers to teach on the role of social workers.