Be open-minded, social workers told
SOCIAL WORKERS HAVE been told they need to be more open-minded as they seek to find solutions to modern social and economic crises.
The advice comes from executive director of the Barbados Family Planning Association George Griffith who spoke this morning during a panel discussion at the Warrens Office Complex to mark World Social Work Day.
He said solutions were more complex now than they were a generation ago.
“There was a time when poverty or poverty-related events or experiences constituted the major demand on the social work system. Society then was far more simple and certainly less complicated than it is today,” he said.
Griffith however pointed out that “an accelerated consciousness of fundamental rights and freedoms by individuals and groups is demanding a commensurate appreciation by social workers and their agencies”.
He said a number of United Nations conventions had changed the social work landscape almost beyond recognition when compared to the 1960s and 1970s.
He said these included conventions related to gender equality and sexual diversity along with the rights of children, differently abled people and commercial sex workers.
“Some of these I know are difficult for us to swallow because [there are] some people in our community, even in our profession, who in defiance of the social work principle which talks about the right to self-determination . . . have a feeling that it is necessary to seek to package people into their own image and their own morality and their own religious views . . . .,” Griffith said. (NB)