Social workers included in body responsible for their accreditation

Celeste Wong

Social workers representatives and the government agreed that professionals of the sector should be included in the body responsible for their accreditation.

The second Social Worker Professional Committee (CPAS) will include five registered social workers, the president of the Social Affairs Bureau (IAS) Celeste Vong announced this week on the sidelines of a meeting of the Second Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly.

Led by Vong, the IAS representatives continued the discussion article-by-article of the law which will introduce a new professional accreditation scheme for social workers.

The committee, which will  be officially established after the social workers’ registration law comes into effect, will consist of 11 members, including one chairman and five members suggested by the government, and five members either from universities, social service organizations, or social work groups. Each committee has a term of five years.

The discussion was centered on the selection of the five non-government appointed members of the second CPAS.

According to Vong, the first CPAS will listen to the opinions of registered social workers before it decides on selection methods for the second CPAS.

“We have not excluded any selection methods,” said Vong, adding that “the five members will be registered social workers.”

In Vong’s words, “Macau does not have a large number of social workers.” There are only approximately 600 social workers in the region, excluding those working for the government, which are not included in the accreditation scheme, although Vong hopes they will be in the future.

The chairman of the AL Second Standing Committee, Chan Chak Mo, when talking about the law, noted that the government decided not to include the definition of social worker into the law, as the actual definition of the social work profession evolves with time.

For those students who pursued a social work degree outside of Macau, and who intended to register as a social worker, CPAS will evaluate the students’ registration application by examining the subjects they studied.

Chan also noted that the government has said that there is no short-term need for non-local social workers. “People from the labor sector have asked if the government is planning on importing any foreign social workers. The director [Celeste Wong] clearly explained that this is an unprecedented example. If we were to do it, the government would only hire social workers from Nepal or Philippines, because we have non-residents from these countries in Macau,” Chan Chak Mo said.

IAS received 55 prioritized child care applications

THE SOCIAL Affairs Bureau (IAS) has received 55 applications for the program of prioritized admission of vulnerable families’ childcare. According to a statement released by the IAS, admissions closed on February 9. The IAS is currently evaluating the eligibility of the applicants for their services. Parents can check the admission results in the first half of April. Regarding eligible applicants, the IAS will arrange special nursery positions for eligible children as soon as possible. Those who do not qualify for admission can apply for other nurseries during April and May.

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