03 May 2018 - NW1131
Jooste, Ms K to ask the Minister of Social Development
What steps will she take to address the (a) shortage of social workers in the country and (b) absorption of qualified social workers trained by her department into the Public Service?
a) The department is implementing the social work scholarship programme to train social workers for the Bachelor of Social Work degree. Once qualified, these graduates are eligible for placement in the Public Service, Non-Profit Organisations and the private sectors. The department has developed the Demand and Supply Model for Social Service Practitioners where an analysis of the geographic distribution and workload requirements for these practitioners was done. The model would assist in determining the population ratio and future projections in terms of the demand and supply of practitioners across provinces. It will also assist to determine the nature of the gap between the demand and supply with recommended strategies for integrated workforce planning. This model is yet to be shared with other key government departments to assess their demand for practitioners.
b) The department is currently implementing the Conditional Grant to fund employment of social work graduates who have benefitted from the Scholarship Programme. These graduates are employed by the provincial departments of social development. Since 2017/18 the department engaged other sector departments to lobby for employment of graduates. A draft business plan was developed to guide employment by other departments. Lack of adequate funding for compensation of employees in the Public
Service hampers all departments’ ability to employ additional social workers. Support from National Treasury and the Department of Public Service and Administration will ensure that vacant posts for entry level social workers are funded, thereby ensuring absorption.
Approved by the Minister on