KUALA LUMPUR: Social work will be recognised as a profession under a new Bill that will be tabled at the Dewan Rakyat in December.
Among other things, the Welfare Department will be required to outline a social worker’s job scope under the proposed Social Workers Profession Act, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pix) said during Question Time at the Dewan today.
She said this would strengthen the role and efficiency of social workers.
Wan Azizah, who is also Women, Family and Community Development Minister, was responding to a question from Ipoh Timur MP Wong Kah Woh who pointed out that the number of social workers in Malaysia was low compared with other countries.
She told the House that a study conducted in June by the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (Mampu) showed that there was one social worker for 8,756 people in Malaysia.
“In the United States, the ratio is one to 490, Australia (1:1,040), United Kingdom (1:3,025) and in Singapore (1:3,448),” she said.
She cited a heavy workload as a factor that made it difficult for many Welfare Department personnel to manage social welfare efficiently.
To another question from Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, Wan Azizah said there were 110 social protection programmes conducted by 20 ministries and agencies compared with only 11 social welfare programmes under the Welfare Department.
She said the Cabinet had agreed to reactivate the Malaysia Social Protection Council (MySPC) that was first established on Oct 28, 2016 as the main coordinating body for social welfare programmes.
Among the scope of MySPC is to analyse the gap in social assistance and to review the assistance needed for the target group.