‘Ministry to ask partners to help check child neglect risk’


18-December-2012

The social workers with the trainers, the PS and Minister Meriton after he gave them their certificates

Senior research officer Michelle Marguerite said this after the Minister for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports Vincent Meriton gave 60 social workers certificates after they followed a workshop showing them the best ways of working with different agencies.

Ms Marguerite told Nation her department plans to give a revised risk assessment form to health professionals and school counselors who will enter information in the form, about pupils or pregnant mothers, which could suggest the pupil or baby when born might suffer neglect.
She said apparent drug or alcohol abuse will be some of the signs the health workers will, for example be looking out for.

Principal secretary Linda William-Melanie of the department of social affairs referred to the form when she closed the workshop attended by the 60 social workers and run by trainers Patricia Francourt and Carol Craven from the UK.

“The risk assessment form that was used during the workshop is an important tool that can give us a wholesome picture of the needs of a child or family. It is a tool you should make optimum use of, for information sharing to ensure that as duty bearers we do not fail our children and families once their needs have been assessed,” said Mrs William-Melanie.

She told the social workers that through the workshop they learned a lot through various case studies on the importance of following procedures and protocols and maintaining consistency in following up cases until they are satisfied that all agencies involved with one case have done their duty and given their best to help give better services to their clients.

“This is the standard that we should adopt and maintain. We should not accept anything less,” she said.

The social workers came from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, National Council for Children, the President’s Village, Committee for Awareness Resilience and Education against drugs and alcohol, the Seychelles National Youth Council and other agencies.

She reminded them multi agency working and risk assessments were not new concepts to them but they needed to refresh their knowledge, to introduce new concepts and strengthen the working-together approach needed for the success of the work they do.

“One of the four approaches of the Social Renaissance National Plan of Action is to re-visit our policies, programmes and service delivery. As service providers, it is imperative that we adopt new strategies to respond to the challenge of the day to implement the plan. Our intervention should be at three levels; firstly early identification of issues so that risk assessment can be done and preventive measures put in place. Secondly, intervention through relevant services that will address the identified needs and thirdly follow-up, monitor and evaluate.

“I would urge you all to share with other colleagues what you have learnt as this is central to the success of the social renaissance initiative,” she said.

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