The Social Workers’ Association of Zambia ( SWAZ) has welcomed the enactment of the Social Workers’ Act to regulate the practice of the profession in the country.
SWAZ National Secretary General, Joachim Mumba noted that the Social Welfare profession has been infiltrated by various individuals and organizations engaged in doing social work without regard to the ethical and etiquette of the profession.
President Hakainde Hichilema on April 13, 2022 assented to the Social Workers’ Association Act Number 4 of 2022 to provide for the registration of social workers and regulate their professional conduct and provide for disciplinary procedures for social workers in the social work profession in Zambia.
In an interview with ZANIS in Kapiri Mposhi, Mr Mumba stated that for a long time now there has been no regulation of the profession which has a code of ethics and body of knowledge to inform its practice in the country.
” Because there was no regulation you find that the practice was infiltrated by non-trained social workers affecting the efficiency and quality of social work service provision and this is what the profession body in Zambia has been trying to cure for so long a time,” Mr Mumba said.
Mr Mumba who is also International Federation of Social Workers President disclosed that the Act of Parliament which has also established the Social Workers Association of Zambia has defined a social worker as a professional with a minimum qualification of a diploma by training who appreciates the ethical principles and values of the profession.
“Social Work professionals in Zambia have been trying to come up with a profession’s regulatory framework since 2010 until now that there is an Act of Parliament and we want to thank President Hakainde Hichilema for assenting to this law because we are elated about the prospect of how this will add value to our practice,” Mr Mumba said.
Mr Mumba said the Act is yet to be operationalized as it is awaiting development of a Statutory Instrument and a commencement order by the Minister of Community Development and Social services.
” we are still putting systems and processes in place and we are still awaiting for an SI to operationalized the Act and a commencement order from the Minister of Community Development and Social Services to activate the Act but all things being equal we are looking at weeks even a month before this Act is activated,” Mr Mumba said.
He added that Zambia will be among four countries in the Southern Africa block to formulate legislation to regulate the practice of the Social Workers profession once the Act is activated.