News day / He said times are hard and social workers cannot afford to fool people.
Recalling some of his life experiences, he said, You have to know how to fight for things legally, you have to find ways of getting around the obstacles. Daniel was delivering the feature address, on Wednesday, to participants at a seminar at the auditorium of the Port of Spain City Hall, Knox Street, Port of Spain.
The seminar was organised by the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Social Workers as part of a series of activities being held this month to highlight The Role of the Social Worker in the 21st Century with special emphasis on professional responsibility and strategies to advocate and mitigate the social impact of economic decline on vulnerable groups in society. He will stage a non-stop weekend Awareness Walk around the Queens Park Savannah to raise awareness about a number of social issues.
The walk will begin at 2:30 pm tomorrow from the Brian Lara Promenade opposite the Central Bank, then to Frederick Street and up to the savannah where he will walk until Sunday. Daniel, who is from Canada, is known for highlighting social issues in somewhat unorthodox ways such as dancing and walking.
He once earned international fame for walking for eight consecutive days in New York, challenging the Guinness World Record for the longest walk. The conference was intended to explore new strategies for social workers who provide services at state agencies, universities and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) throughout Trinidad and Tobago.
Daniel urged the audience to check all information they received, saying that it may not be what it seems to be. He said they should not take things at face value.
Go. You are a social worker.
Get the real reason. He also spoke about bullying in the schools, and said that he had once done a dance for a student who was being bullied. He said he decided to do the dance to honour students who were being bullied and were suffering in silence. He said that when he did the dance, the victims came to realise that they had someone on their side and were no longer alone.
The seminar participants also got together in groups for a consultation aimed at completing a policy document on promoting professionalisation of social work in this country. Vice President of the Association, Sharon Francis-Gaines, said the document produced from the consultation would be sent to Cabinet for review and we may be able to action this a little faster than the actual bill or the actual legislation. She said the association was seeking to develop a co-ordinated approach to social work in the country. So a client comes to the area and meets with a social worker.
That social worker will be able to assess the needs of the client and access the resources needed by the client so you would not have five different social workers from five different agencies working with this one client. She said the association invited Daniel to this country because of his expertise in such issues as mitigating the social impact of economic decline on vulnerable groups in society. We recognise that our country is going through an economic decline and this will impact client service, families and children as well as communities.
And if the case of our countrys economic decline is going to be addressed, we have to be ready to think out of the box. She said that with the economic decline the country is experiencing, they are finding that social workers are spread very thinly. So if we have a co-ordinated approach, then we will have proper case management in terms of the number of social workers to the numbers of cases assigned to them. She said that in Trinidad and Tobago there are social workers handling as many as a thousand clients and this is against professional practice
TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: Two-day non-stop walk to highlight social issues
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