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Mar 21, 2017

Recognizing the Worth of Social Workers

Today, the Human Services Department services joined the rest of the world to observe World Social Work Day. Since 1983, the day has been celebrated around the world on March twenty-first to showcase achievements of social work and increase its visibility, but also to highlight its synergies with social development. This year, the day is being commemorated under the theme: “Promoting Community and Environmental Sustainability.” News Five’s Andrea Polanco was at the mini awareness fair at the Human Services Department on Regent Street.

 

Ganesha Brannon

Ganesha Brannon, Human Development Coordinator, Child Protection Services

“We honour social workers for the work that they do; working with families; working with children. So, today our booth is looking at Social Work through the eyes of Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation and what we have are the different departments under our ministry.”

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

As the world celebrates World Social Work Day, The Department OF Human Services is sharing information on the different services offered through the Ministry by way of Departments including Human Services which deals with child protection, child placement and child specialized services such as adoption and foster care; other key components of social work were highlighted at the awareness fair aimed at celebrating social workers in Belize.

 

Ganesha Brannon

“Women’s Department; women and family support services; and they also deal with gender base issues along with public assistance. We also have community rehabilitation department who looks and works with juvenile offenders and we also have under the Department of Human Services we have community parenting; where we have rovers who go out to do early childhood development with families and also do outreach in terms of school and parenting for communities and schools.”

 

Brannon says that at the core of the work of the Human Services Department are social workers. The work that they do is critical to the welfare of individuals, families, groups, and communities.

 

Ganesha Brannon

“Social workers are the connection between all the different entities, organizations and communities at large. What we do on a whole is that we work with families, we try to stabilize families and try to bring children to their full potential. And this is why we celebrate this day to the fullest – to give thanks to the officers who go over and beyond, connecting families and working towards keeping families together.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What are some of the challenges social workers face on the job?”

 

Ganesha Brannon

“Well, like every day challenges you might have some people who don’t want to cooperate with you; don’t want to talk with you. It comes with a little bit of ignorance or misinformation because for us under the Department of Human Services people might say ‘all they do is tek weh people pickney.’ However, that is not what we do. We work with families for family preservation to keep families, to keep children together.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Has the public’s perception of social workers evolved over the years? Are people more accepting, more open to dialogue with social workers?”

 

Ganesha Brannon

“I think so. I think so. I think we have a great rapport. We have done some awareness in terms of allowing people the information of what we do. And people are much more receptive and not scared to say I need help.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Would you say there is a demand; that this type of service is very much needed here in Belize?”

 

Ganesha Brannon

“Definitely. It is a service that holds our country together from all angles, so it is definitely a demand.”

 

Reporter

“In what areas of the country would you say those demands are high?”

 

Ganesha Brannon

“Countrywide and the demands vary. For some areas, you might have more public assistance that people might need. For some other areas you might have a lot of juvenile offenders that we have to rehabilitate and work with them. For some, we might have a lot of child protection issues where people might say that I am disciplining my child but they may need a little bit of guidance and how about doing that as opposed to just going in to hitting them or slapping them or verbally abusing them. So, the services vary across the country.”

 

The Human Services Department sees an average of fifteen to twenty family cases per daythrough the Belize City office alone where some twenty social workers attached. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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