Children at a social protection centre. — VNA/VNS Photo Anh Tuấn
March 25 has been chosen as Social Work Day Việt Nam to honour the humane and meaningful values of this profession.
Deputy director of Phú Yên Province’s Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Phạm Thị Minh Hiền talks to Phú Yên Newspaper about plans to improve social work in the locality.
How is social work perceived in the world and in Việt Nam?
Social work has been regarded as a professional job in many countries for centuries, starting with humane activities. Its international definition was adopted and approved in 2001 by 82 member states of the International Federation of Social Workers and the International Association of Schools of Social Work.
The social work profession "promotes social change, problem-solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work”.
In Việt Nam, social work began in a much more difficult situation. Before 1975 the country was divided into two regions and some parts of the international definition of social work were not suitable for its context.
In 2006, a team of experts of the MOLISA along with representatives from relevant universities and UNICEF Việt Nam agreed on a definition that works with Việt Nam and is in accordance with international standards.
It defines social work as a highly practice-based field based on specialised principles and methods to support individuals, groups and communities in tackling social issues. Social work aims towards the happiness of humans and the improvement of social welfare.
In 2010, Prime Minister Nguyễn Tấn Dũng approved the national plan 32, setting a goal that between 2010-2020, social work should be recognised as a profession in Việt Nam and a system for delivering social work services should be created at provincial, district and commune levels.
The plan also focused on raising awareness of the public and developing human resources.
In 2016, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc decided to choose March 25 Social Work Day Việt Nam.
What are the significant results Phú Yên has achieved in implementing this national plan?
We have carried out communication work to raise awareness of the public. There are important achievements. Phú Yên has developed a system of more than 800 social workers and collaborators in all communes, wards and towns.
The social welfare policy system also improves to ensure basic needs for specific groups including aid, education, healthcare, vocational training, rehabilitation and social integrity.
Social work jobs also expand to child protection and care, support for the disabled, drug crime prevention and control, prostitutes, care for vulnerable groups, poverty reduction, among many others.
What plans does Phú Yên Province have to enhance social work in the future?
We will continue to enhance communication work to raise awareness of the authorities and the public about social work. We will also continue to diversify social work services at social protection centres.
Besides caregiving, we also provide vulnerable groups with vocational training, sports and entertainment activities and life skills, offer consultation and continue charitable activities. — VNS