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Archive -National Assembly

MNAs learn more about social work in Seychelles |25 March 2017

The Social Workers Council (SWC) requested a meeting with the National Assembly to educate the honourable MNAs on the significance of social work in Seychelles, to strengthen partnership with the Assembly for enhanced collaborations and to seek their support to construct systems that show social workers that they are valued as professionals.

Besides the MNAs, the meeting also saw the presence of the chairperson of SWC Shella Mohideen, representatives from the University of Seychelles (UniSey) and consultant Ilse Aucamp.

Various presentations were given on the current situation of ‘social work’ in Seychelles, the social work systems, the SWC and the society impact assessment.

Georges Nicette and Grace Irimani from the Department of Healthcare and Social Sciences at the UniSey started the presentation by giving an overview of what ‘social work’ and under which framework it operates.

“Among our many core purposes, social workers work with and mobilise individuals, families, groups, organisations and communities to enhance their well-being and their problem-solving capacities. They assist people to obtain services and resources in their communities and they also formulate and implement policies and programmes that enhance people's well-being, promote development and human rights, and promote collective social harmony and social stability, insofar as such stability does not violate human rights,” said Ms Irimani.

Mr Nicette noted that social workers do face challenges. “There is a lack of human resources and there is a need to develop professionalism and professional identities. We need to do research before establishing and implementing any new programme. We already have programmes for drug users, but do we hear their voice?”

Beryl Laboudallon, principal social worker, gave an overview on social work, the current situation. She shared some vital statistics with the members and explained that “the Social Services Division (Social Affairs Department) of the Ministry of Family Affairs is made up of the following sections: Community Social Work and Legal Services & Child Protection. The Social Services Division is a service oriented division that has the portfolio responsibility to promote the well-being of children and families. Social workers help people and their families adjust to problems in their lives. A social worker is a trained professional with a recognised social work qualification. The title social worker is protected by law since 2007, when the Social Work Council was introduced and can be used only by people who have a recognised qualification. Social work is a multi-faceted profession and the training involves: medical, social, environmental, politics, psychology, philosophy, international social work, crime and society, social policies, sociology, inter personal skills, anthropology etc. Like lawyers, social workers are tested on real life scenarios and have to pass the required practice placement. The nature of social work contributes to the negative view of the profession, being an unpopular profession.”

Ms Laboudallon also talked about services offered by the division, the community social work section, legal services and child protection section; the social work ethics & values, programmes/support work, the various partners, the legislation guiding the profession, the scheme of work and the benefits.

Dr Ilse Aucamp made a brief presentation of the Seychelles Social Impact Assessment and finally Mrs Mohideen talked about the importance of having the SWC.

“We must ensure that practitioners have the right competencies to be on the field – or it can result in more harm than good. We make sure to protect the service users and ensure only those who are licensed can practice in order to prevent professional misconduct,” she noted.

After the presentations, the MNAs expressed their appreciation towards all the social workers on the field and at the same time suggested various proposals how to improve the relationship between them and the members of parliament.

Audrey Vidot, elected member for Roche Caïman, noted that “there is a lack in communication about the work of the social workers and their needs. Your council should make better use of the media and work closely with the district administrations to find better ways to reduce the number of cases”.

Charles De Commarmond, leader of government business and elected member for Cascade, said “there are currently a lot of issues in your department and we hope that with a new ministry things will change and move forward. You should see us as a partner and we need to talk more often as MNAs also are social workers. In the districts we cannot have different committees working separately, we need to join forces and review our approaches. The only way to go forward is to work together”.

Two other members shared their views with Seychelles NATION about this event. Gervais Henrie, elected member for Mont Buxton, said “the SWC felt that often during the National Assembly’s deliberations other professions are talked about but theirs are minimal or misunderstood. Since they are reviewing their legal framework and seeking better pay package and budget for their operations, they feel this interaction could help. Personally, I think the session was very useful as it gave us as MNAs firsthand experience about the work and challenges facing this profession. In our line of duties, we interact with social cases in our respective district and now we can establish a network to help alleviate some of the social issues of our constituents.”

Regina Esparon, elected member for Glacis, noted that this meeting “sensitised us on the work of the social workers so that we can give them more support through the legislative by supporting laws that could help them in their professions. Personally, I better understand their job now and ready to be a partner that can help them deliver better. The social workers should include us as their partner also in their networking as we are also doing door to door everyday and meeting people every day. This will allow us to be helpful in their work and support their work especially in districts.”



Cases where the assistance of social workers were required                




Sexual Abuse

Physical Abuse

































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