Social Worker

This tag is associated with 8 posts

Social Workers Complement – Not Replace – Support Networks For The Less-Privileged

The argument that less-privileged or disadvantaged Singaporeans should be respected as individuals with agency who are capable of making decisions for their households, rather than as people with problems, is incontrovertible. The same can be said of Mr. Gerard Ee’s related argument that the design of Singapore’s social service ecosystem can be improved by creating an environment of mutual help (ST, Jan. 3). Yet it is not necessarily true that programmes and services offered by the social and community service sector – and by extension, the work of social workers – replace “natural support networks” or “the notion of a caring community”. Instead, three other things seem to be missing: First, an understanding of how social workers should position themselves and their programmes and services; second, research studying the context and conditions of Singaporeans at the margin; as well as third, the involvement of the broader public, beyond those who work within the social service sector. Continue reading

Better Data And Tools For Greater Social Good

That charities and leaders in the social service sector “are slowly warming up to the potential of mining big data and analysing it to identify social trends and solve social problems of the day” (ST, Jul. 24) is encouraging, and in particular needs analysis (understanding, for instance, the profile of the beneficiaries who require assistance) and programme evaluation (ascertaining the extent to which a project has been effective or successful, against benchmarks) should take centre stage. In fact, the intermediate steps preceding big data and analytics – that is, the collection, management, and usage of data in general – are equally critical too. And in this vein there are at least three ways through which such progress can be furthered. Continue reading

Draw More Critical Insights From Social Workers

A good second step – building on the laudable moves by the government “to attract and retain talent in a sector that is facing a labour crunch” (TODAY, Apr. 13), through a “slew of initiatives” – would be to engage social workers or social work professionals more actively, to understand their concerns about retention or advancement within the social service sector. And besides present employees, perspectives of those who have moved between charities or who have left the non-profit and philanthropy sector altogether must be sought, because they are likely to be more candid about the deficiencies they have observed or experienced. These critical insights, moreover, can then be put to bear on quantitative indicators, especially the turnover rates over time, across sectors, and compared between socio-demographic traits. Continue reading

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