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31.03.2004 Regional News

Dept. of Social Welfare calls for adequate funding.

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Ho, Mar. 30, GNA- District Social Welfare Officers of the Department of Social Welfare in the Volta Region have bemoaned the inability of government to resource the department adequately though its mission is in total consonance with the national priority of tackling indiscipline and eradicating poverty. Consensus opinion at their two-day review workshop, which started on Monday was that, central government and district assemblies accept social work as crucial for national development but were not keen on providing the needs of the Department of Social Welfare. "We are orphans, we go to the central government and we are pushed back

to the district assemblies," Mr William Krakani, Principal Development Officer of the Department said. He said, for example, though in almost every section of the proposed Domestic Violence Bill, reference is made to the social worker, yet the Department hardly gets the resources to initiate and investigate some of the causes of such violence in the society.

The review workshop, which is under the theme: "Mobilising for National Discipline and Poverty Alleviation," is also being attended by Institutional Heads of the Department in the region. Mr Larry Bissaba, Volta Regional Director of the Department regretted that financial allocations to it were "irregular and sparse" yet the department was always "criticised at the least opportunity for not performing its roles". He called on government to lift the embargo on the employment of social workers from the School of Social Work in Accra to enable postings to be made to districts, many of which were understaffed.

Mr Bissaba said despite the drawbacks social workers should venture out to the people and resist the temptation of being "desk-glued officers, displaying attitudes of officialdom". "This attitude has created a vacuum in the delivery of our services", he said, and urged social welfare officers to update their knowledge on the changing face of national problems.

Mr. Steve Selormey, Volta Regional Coordinating Director, in a speech read for him, hoped the workshop would improve delivery to current day standards. He urged the Department to use its affinity with the grassroots to educate them on their rights and responsibilities as part of efforts to stem the spate of indiscipline in the society. Togbe Adase IV, a Sub-Chief of Ho-Ahoe, who presided, advised social workers to look for other avenues to supplement government allocations.

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