The Social Welfare Division within the Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS) this week gathered its officers across the country for a weeklong workshop that will conclude tomorrow (Friday 5th of August).
A total of 17 Social Welfare Officers (SWOs) from Honiara and the provinces are participating in the workshop,
MHMS, Social Welfare Division, Director Mrs. Linda Tupe explained that the such gatherings was initiated in 2017 when the department saw the need for for experiences to be shared, challenges identified together and solutions discussed with more effective ways forward mapped out.
She said for many of our new officers it is a useful opportunity where they can interact and learn from those experienced officers who have been working on child protection issues for years.
“Moreover this year’s gathering is also an opportunity for us to develop our 2023 annual action plan in preparation for the Annual MHMS AOP workshop to be convened later this year. The gathering provided us the opportunity to discuss plans for professional development and team building to continue to strengthen and enhance our capacity to address child protection issues and that is what we have been doing throughout the week”, said Mrs. Tupe.
“Furthermore, with plans now in place to launch our Child and Family Welfare Act come September 2022, the gathering provided the perfect opportunity for us to refresh our officers on their roles and responsibilities under the Act, for instance, how best to deal or support children who are in need of care and protection including their families and communities”, added Mrs. Tupe.
She also highlighted that for management, the event enabled program managers to better understand the work of the officers in the provinces and look at how best support can be rendered t in terms of capacity, budget and other necessary resources.
The five days’ annual conference is supported by UNICEF with appreciation expressed by Mrs. Linda for the continuous support received from UNICEF towards the work of social welfare.
She also thanked the Senior Executive Management of the Ministry of Health and Medical Services for steadfast support towards the important work of social welfare department to children, families and communities.