Enshrouding Behind The Facades; The Social Workers’ Plight In Ghana
Day in and day out, society evolves thus emanates multifaceted and innumerable ways of mankind's adaptation to the contemporary world. The world's transformation has come to bear new cultures and new ways of doing things. In as much as there are social differentiation, social stratifications, static norms and varying inherent dispositions, the world cannot exonerate itself from the rigours of social problems.
Social problems by and large have become albatrosses on the necks of many nations. In the quest to find panacea to the ills of society, many institutions have been established by many countries of which social work is not an exception. Social work is a profession of helping vulnerable and malfunction people to help their own selves in order to function well in the mainstream society. Every nation needs Social workers to progress.
Many Western countries have by far attained a remarkable level of social development partly because of the innocuous efforts and impeccable works of the social work profession. Social workers are indeed very important to progress of every nation! Social workers empower, social workers advocate, and they fight for social inclusion, equality, equity, welfare, and social justice for all.
It is quite unfortunate that the role of social workers is given little or no attention to in some parts of the world. Although there are few social work institutions in Africa, we fail to acknowledge their relevance and give little or no attention to the few professionals (Social Workers). It saddens my heart that our nation seem to show little interest in the affairs of social workers. Should I say it's because our leaders are ignorant, lack knowledge about the Social work profession or they only feel distaste for the profession?
Unfortunately, Social workers in Ghana are not well treated as compared to other professions one can make mention of. Social workers have little recognition, less prestige and low remuneration. Sadly to say, the department of social welfare in Ghana is not well equipped with the necessary logistics for work and conditions of work at various department offices are unfavourable. In some districts and municipalities, there are inadequate social workers and the few workers at assigned departments have little or no fringe benefits at side their usual salaries.
Additionally, many Special Needs institutions lack adequate social workers. Consequentially, those few social workers who work in those institutions have to forgo their profession and teach. Moreover, many of our institutions lack insights about the relevance of the social worker. To reiterate, indeed social workers are mistreated and given little attention to in Ghana. Their working conditions are nothing to write home about!
If conditions of service are good enough and great attention is given by the state to this profession (Social Work), will social workers in our nation flood to seek greener pastures in somewhere else? For instance, it is even not surprising to see most University of Ghana graduates in the profession travel to pursue further and even practice the profession in other countries. As a country, we still cry over gender inequality, child abuse, rape, incest, substance abuse & drug addiction, suicide, domestic violence, inter alia forgetting that we are gradually driving away experts (social workers) who can best remedy our social problems.
The plight of social workers in Ghana is indeed very appalling and if nothing is done to reverse the trend as a country now, a great misfortune might befall us all in the wake of the future.
DICKSON BOATENG DENKYI (a.k.a philosopher)
ASSOCIATION OF STUDENTS OF SOCIAL WORK (ASSOW)
UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON.
(c) UG~ASSOW 2014
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