The International Federation of Social Workers welcomes the Singapore Government’s campaign to attract and retain 200 more social workers and invest in the social wellbeing of its citizens.
It is heartening to note that the Singapore Government values the vital contribution that social workers make to the health of the community. We welcome the Government’s move to enhance the standing of the profession in the community and its attractiveness as a lifelong vocation. This must be reinforced by ensuring not only competitive starting salaries, but more importantly, a salary scale that remains competitive over the entire career span. It is vital to support social workers to stay in their careers, as qualified and experienced social workers are in short supply in almost every country.
Across the world, social workers bring their professional training and experience to bear on the problems in the community to improve the life situation of people caught in them. Social workers assist in identifying the strengths in communities and enhancing these for positive outcomes. They work with the poor and hungry, the old and disheartened, street children, troubled youth as well as victims of crime. They work in depressed rural communities and urban slums. Social workers collaborate across national borders. They speak up for the homeless and for people with disabilities; they support young parents, intervene in marital conflict, engage in public education, conduct research and work with Government authorities for policy changes.
As a worldwide profession, social workers abide by a code of ethics, which, among other values, enjoins them to be non-judgmental, non-partisan and non-self-seeking. Their training requires them to demonstrate competency in working with individuals, groups and communities. They seek practice proficiency, which delivers demonstrable results. They hold themselves accountable for on-going professional development and for effective and ethical practice.
Social workers in Singapore are linked to a worldwide federation of 90 countries with a total membership of more than 750 000 social workers. Represented by the International Federation of Social Workers of which the Singapore Association of Social Workers is a member, social workers hold special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and the United Nations Children’s Fund. In addition, social workers, through their global organisation, work with the International Labour Organisation, the World Health Organization, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS among others.
IFSW wishes the Singapore Government and community well as they seek ways to encourage more people to join this life-changing profession.
International Federation of Social Workers (Asia Pacific)
Dr. Rory G Truell
International Federation of Social Workers