SINGAPORE - The Singapore Association of Social Workers applauds Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing for mooting the idea of a centralised hiring system for social workers ("Central hiring of social workers mooted"; last Friday).
We agree that such a system would help smaller voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), which are unable to pay competitive wages, to recruit and retain social service professionals.
Such a system would also benefit larger VWOs, as it means that salaries for social service professionals within an agency would not be determined based on funding of programmes. There would be equity of pay, and funds allocated for programmes would be used solely for the beneficiaries.
We also welcome Mr Chan's suggestion to develop a core group of social service professionals who can mentor and train others. In fact, we have a mentoring and supervision system partially funded by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) that provides a matching service for young social workers to be mentored by their seniors. The purpose is to ensure that beginner social workers in smaller agencies with fewer resources will not leave the profession because of a lack of mentors.
The scheme has been so well received that we have started a similar project for medical social workers in the intermediate and long-term care sector.
As a stakeholder in the profession, the association looks forward to continuing to work with the Ministry of Social and Family Development, the NCSS and other ministries in realising the various new initiatives.
Singapore Association of Social Workers
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