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Social sector wants its professionals back

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A new initiative has been launched to lure back medical social services workers who have strayed from the sector.

The Adjunct Social Worker Scheme, by the Singapore Association of Social Workers and the Health Ministry, aims to fill up positions in the industry with those who are trained in the field but are currently not practising.

According to Channel News Asia, there are currently about 1,600 social workers and practitioners registered with the Singapore Association of Social Workers, although not all of them are active.

“This is important…because as an ageing population, we have greater needs in this area. But not a lot of social workers are actually finding employment in this area,” Alvin Chua, president of the Singapore Association of Social Workers, said.

The association is hoping to match up those willing to gain part-time employment in the sector with medical agencies facing a talent shortage. However, Chua said the association is looking at filling employment gaps in other social services sector as well.

The association will also be offering refresher courses and a buddy system to pair up the returning professional with a practising mentor.

However, those in the sector believe more can be done to attract professionals back.

Desmurn Lim, senior social worker at Care Corner Family Service Centre, told CNA organisations have to look at how they can provide professionals with career and competency progressions.

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