Perennial shortage of social workers in Ghanaian institutions is the engaging attention of trainers. There are concerns non-professional are now assuming a role which requires critical skills to perform.
“In the foster homes you have educators but no social workers,” said Dr. Esmeralda Manful, Senior Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
Dr. Manful, who also coordinates the Bachelor of Arts in Social Work programme at the university stressed: “In the hospital, we need social workers there, only a few hospitals have social workers.”
“The schools are supposed to have social workers but you don’t find them there,” she lamented.
“We have the professionals but where are they? We need to get the professionals on the field so we don’t put square pegs in round holes,” she added.
Speaking at an event in Kumasi to mark World Social Work Day, Dr. Manful acknowledged efforts by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Welfare to undertake care reforms to professionalize social work in Ghana.
She called for a speedy process to get parliament to pass legislation for licensing of social workers to ensure high standards.
Dr. Manful believes social workers have a critical role for successful implantation of government policies like One district, One Factory.
This year’s World Social Work Day, highlights promotion of community and environmental sustainability.
Lecturer in Sociology and Social Work, Dr John Boulard Forkuor, emphasized harmonious interaction between individuals and the environment.
“You can teach the people all the skills they need but if in the next day they are suffering from flooding or their houses are burning down or they are being removed from a slum area, then your aim has not been achieved,” he said.
“The whole idea is to ensure that individuals will do things that will benefit the environment so that future generations can benefit and in the same way, the environment will be put in a way to help the individual,” he added.