For the occasion of World Social Day, which was celebrated on Tuesday 15th March 2022, Minister responsible for Social Affairs Mrs. Patricia Francourt met with two groups of young social workers in a Tête à-tête meeting on 15th and 24th March 2022.
The aim of the meeting was an opportunity for the Minister to interact with the young social workers working in the Legal Services and Child Protection section and the community on Mahe and Inner Island.
Most of them joined the department after completing their studies at NIHSS, some having recently recruited and others in employment for no more than three years. The most recently employed social worker is Ms. Amelie who started work on 15th March 2022, a most memorable day indeed to start her social work career and being lucky to meet with both the Vice-President of the Republic of Seychelles and Minister Francourt.
During the interaction, the staff shared with the Minister what they love about their work, their challenge, and accomplishment with cases dealt with and their aspirations as a social worker. The group of staff working in the community share the same experience of what they deal with on a daily basis. The main challenge lies with parents who are not attentive to the needs of children and are difficult to reason with. In other instances other family members contribute towards the issues that affect the not only the children and youth but also our elderly persons.
Staff of the child Protection and Legal Section expressed their share of challenges as well as they can only do what are in their power to assist a child or a family. They have to liaise with other entities or agencies and sometimes the cases brought before them can take time to resolve. However, despite all the challenges that they experience, they do get words of appreciation from other partners such as the Police Department and District Administrators and staff when they have intervened in cases referred to them.
Besides having to deal with all the challenges, the staff expressed their gratitude to the Minister and they are happy to work in the Social Affairs Department. Their strong supportive network that they have created was apparent and it came out strongly that they are happy with what they do even if they cannot deal with all the social issues in our society but their satisfaction is being able to help a child, an elderly, a family be it through counselling and support through home visits.
Minister Francourt expressed her appreciation for the hard work, passion, dedication and devotion to all present and all the Social workers in general. Minister encouraged them to continue with the good work and she emphasized that being a social worker is a noble and lifetime profession. Whatever they do comes from the heart. She urged them to keep telling themselves that they are important and to value what they are doing.
Minister also encouraged them to follow in the footstep of those who have been serving the Department for over 35 years, and she looks forward to seeing them and hearing more from them.
In attendance in the meetings were Principal Secretary Mrs. Linda William- Melanie and other senior officials of Social Services Division.