Social work a scarce skill

28 April 2008

Commitment: UCT's second-year social work students pledged to abide by the values and principles of their profession when they made their Professional Declaration.

Social work has been identified as a scarce skill, and the profession needs thousands more graduates, says UCT alumnus and director of the Cape Mental Health Society, Ingrid Daniels.

Speaking at the Department of Social Development's annual Professional Declaration Ceremony recently, Daniels said that there are only 9 000 registered social workers in the country, and South Africa needs in the region of 50 000.

At the event, second-year social work students pledged their commitment to the profession's code of conduct through an oath-taking ceremony, as they prepare for their first fieldwork placement.

"You have chosen the correct profession, we need you," Daniels told the students.

Also speaking at the event was Virginia Petersen, another UCT graduate and director-general of the Western Cape Province. Petersen also highlighted the country's need for social workers.

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