Solidarity today announced that it has established a unique network of work for Social Workers. The Solidarity Occupational Guild for Social Workers will focus on acting as a watchdog for the profession and to ensure that the profile of Social Workers is lifted.
According to Marisa Engelbrecht, Head of the Department: Innovation at Solidarity, the Department of Social Development in KwaZulu-Natal’s hasty displacement of children the past week and the mere fact that the Natal High Court ruled in favour of the Christian Social Services (CSS), is testimony to the Department’s dysfunctionality to follow protocol. “Once again it just confirmed that Social Workers are exposed to unethical and ill-considered decisions by ignorant people in high-ranking positions,” said Engelbrecht.
This ruling follows after nearly 200 children were removed the past weekend from Môrester Ladysmith, Môrester Newcastle and Home Meah as ordered by the Department after an alleged complaint of racism and emotional abuse. Before the claim could even be investigated the children were removed. The Department was also not available this weekend to explain its actions.
Engelbrecht continued by saying that this hasty and ill-considered order from the Department had wide-spread results. “Apart from the serious trauma the children had to endure, Social Workers and Caregivers had to try different tacks to solve the problem. The administrative and emotional pressure which the Department placed on the relevant people who had to deal with the traumatised children, is unacceptable,” Engelbrecht said.
“Social work is an ungrateful job and Social Workers are usually the people who have the bare the brunt. This incident is once again proof that people who are trained must be allowed to do their jobs without interference of incompetent civil servants who do not care about the implications of their impulsive decisions,” Engelbrecht said
Solidarity’s Occupational Guild for Social Workers welcomes the court’s ruling that the further investigation must be completed by 18 March without traumatising the children any further. “We will carefully keep watch over the situation and will take further steps against the Department if it continues to act against the law and its own regulations and creates such an unacceptable working environment for Social Workers and Caregivers. We also support Solidarity Helping Hand’s independent report on the situation, and we are thankful that they also reach out to the traumatised personnel by providing counselling to them,” Engelbrecht concluded