Thirty social workers from the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA) are benefiting from training aimed at equipping them to provide psychosocial support to more than 6,500 at-risk children who are wards of the State.
The training in clinical social work is a collaborative effort involving the CPFSA, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), and The Mico University College and is being carried out at a cost of $2,685,500.
It is being facilitated by The Mico and is certified by the University Council of Jamaica (UCJ) as a professional development course.
Speaking at the virtual launch on Wednesday (June 3), Director of Children and Family Programmes, CPFSA, Audrey Budhi, said that the training is important for social workers, as they are key players in the care and protection of children who are at risk.
She said that the course will build the capacity of social workers to respond to a child dealing with trauma, including carrying out psychological assessment and designing an intervention plan in keeping with the child’s particular needs.
Ms. Budhi said that equipping social workers in this way will also reduce the burden on the small team of psychologists who serve children in childcare facilities.
President of The Mico University College, Dr. Asburn Pinnock, for his part, commended the partners for pressing ahead with the project despite the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and pledged his full support.
“This is a worthy cause as we seek to upgrade our social workers and ensure that social intervention in our society, in our school system and in our community is in good hands,” he added.
Senior Manager at JSIF, Mona Sue Ho, said the agency is pleased to support the programme.
“The training of the CPFSA social workers forms a part of our Youth at Risk project that does not only boost the capacity of social workers in clinical social work but it also increases the capacity of caregivers to provide quality care and support for the nation’s children in private and public homes,” she noted.
Ms. Sue Ho said that, overall, the investment will benefit approximately 16,000 children and families.
The training course will be taught online on Wednesdays and Fridays from June 5 to September 25, and will include a month-long practicum in October.
Areas to be covered include approaches to clinical social work, child psychopathology, conflict management, human sexuality issues, dealing with grief and trauma, ethical and legal issues in social work and clinical counselling skills, and techniques for social workers.