The Care Agency today took part in the celebrations of ‘World Social Work Day 2016’ that take place on March 15th under the theme ‘Promoting the Dignity and Worth of Peoples’. A United Nations backed initiative, the Gibraltar Government has embraced the occasion and lined up several events as part of the broader commemoration.
A series of talks by social workers who work locally were given at Bayside and Westside Schools, and at Gibraltar College. These presentations will seek to create greater awareness of these issues and deal with general aspects of social work and social care in the community.
The aim is to provide students with a better understanding of the profession, and the various interrelated disciplines that work in close collaboration with social workers as potential career paths. These include psychologists, counsellors, care workers, nurses and Occupational Therapy practitioners, all of whom underscore the multi-agency and team ethos approach of the Agency.
There were detailed explanations of the work involved in each modality, the interaction between them and emphasis on the vocational and multi-disciplinary nature that is a key characteristic of this line of work, as these professions are seldom considered as options.
The Care Agency will also use the opportunity to identify interest from students in terms of future career path options with a view to attracting what could potentially be the right people, at the earliest possible stage.
The Agency employs a workforce of around 300 which includes social workers, counsellors, psychologists, care workers, OT and administrative and industrial support staff.
The Agency has close working links with the Gibraltar Health Authority, the Department of Education and the RGP, the latter purely in a safeguarding capacity in respect of the protection of vulnerable individuals, rather than in a law enforcement role.
Minister for Social Services, the HON Samantha Sacramento MP, said she was delighted that Gibraltar was taking part in a global recognition of social workers for the second year. Minister Sacramento said: “People often applaud the invaluable work that other Essential Services in Gibraltar carry out to protect and keep the community safe. While this is absolutely proper, I think it is time that Gibraltar as a whole recognised the efforts, commitment and importance of the work carried out by social workers, who are the unsung heroes of the Gibraltar Government’s network of social services and to whom I also refer to as the silent essential services."
"I think it is fair to say that social workers and social work professionals form a pivotal part of what is an essential service in a different way, in a social and human sense. These individuals are in the frontline of those delicate issues, dealing with sensitive cases such as child abuse and the care of vulnerable adults which have become the bane of modern industrialised societies, from which, regrettably, no one is exempted."
“On this day, when the rest of the international community salute the priceless social service that they provide, I wanted to add my voice and express the appreciation of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar, to the users of this service, their relatives and families. To express our gratitude for the immensely important task that they carry out and the professionalism with which they fulfil their responsibilities.”