Sierra Leone’s social workers hold two days conference to establish a professional association
The Sierra Leone Social Workers Steering Committee in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare on the 21st & 22nd March, 2023 held a two days conference which culminated in the establishing of a national association. The conference was held to celebrate the World Social Work Day with the theme: “Respecting Diversity through Joint Social Action”. It was held at Milton Margai Technical University, Goderich Campus, Freetown.
Representative from Social Work Educators, Ishmael Kebbay in his statement emphasized prioritization of the field and spoke about the Social Work Bill that is in final stages to be laid in parliament, entitled ‘The Professional Social Workers Regulatory Council, Act 2023.’ This bill he promised will ensure the recognition and standardization of the profession.
Musa Maurice Momoh Kargbo and executive member of the steering committee, complimented the efforts of the Ministry of Social Welfare & UNICEF for working to positively impact social problems affecting vulnerable people in Sierra Leone.
Senior Lecturer from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, Prof. Alfred A. Jarrett explained how “Social Work is a profession of many faces in human interaction,” given its benefits of service to mankind.
During the second day, UNICEF representative Wilberforce Tengey recognized the essential role of social work in daily routines. He handed over 84 motorbikes and 64 computer tablets to the Ministry of Social Welfare to aid the work of social workers at the Ministry across the sixteen districts.
He pledged UNICEF’s support to continue to work with the Ministry of Social Welfare to improve social work education, regulating the practice of social work and developing, operating procedures and system to help front lines staffs to better serve children, women and other vulnerable populations.
In her address, the Keynote Speaker, who doubles as the Honorable Minister of Social Welfare, Madam Baindu Dassama Kamara whilst launching the Sierra Leone Association of Social Workers (SLASOW): encouraged all Social Workers & Educators to continue to serve humanity to the best of their ability.
The Coordinator, Sierra Leone Social Workers Steering Committee, Michael Mitchell Conteh Esq. led the process for the validation of the Constitution and members present unanimously officially adopted the legal document (Constitution) of the Association, which amongst other things under the Transitional Clause authorized the Coordinator, Michael Mitchell Conteh to form a 12-Man Interim Transitional Executive to take the Association to its first Annual General Meeting for a regular structure to be decided on.