By Emem Idio, Yenagoa
The National Association of Social Workers, Bayelsa chapter, has lamented that the non-passage of the Social Works Bill by the National Assembly was affecting the practice of the profession in the country.
They noted that the if the bill which has been at the national assembly for some time now has been passed, it would have given social works practice the legal backing and empowerment to tackle the myriad of societal ills bedeviling the nation.
Chairman of the Bayelsa State chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, Mr. James Young disclosed this in Yenagoa, weekend, during an advocacy visit to members of the Federated Correspondents Chapel, of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Bayelsa State Council, as parts of its activities to mark this year’s Social Works Day.
He pointed out that the theme of this year’s celebration tagged: “I am because we are; Strengthening Social Solidarity as Global Connectedness,” underscores the fact that there must be unity and solidarity as entire world is a global village where everyone is connected to one another.
He said the lack of correctional institutions for children, lack of rehabilitation centres, lack of homes for the elderly and mentally displaced persons, and lack of school for special children in the state posed a serious challenge in tackling most of the social vices particularly among young persons in the state, and called on the state government to consider putting these facilities in place.
James said, “There is no bill or law that has been passed to make social work a professional calling in Nigeria. The Social Works Bill has been in the national assembly for some time now and if that bill is passed, it will give social workers an edge and the real practice of social works will be seen in this country.
“What the social work is internationally preaching is that the entire world is a global village and we must have that unity and solidarity connected to one another so that we can be able to solve global problems.
“In Bayelsa State, the state government has passed and signed the Child Act Law but has not provided the facilities and institutions as part of the provisions of the law, there are no correctional centres, psychiatric homes, rehabilitation centres, homes for the elderly and school for special children in the state, and if we want to solve social vices among young people and adolescents we need these institutions.”
He said the association has a lot to do but regretted that lack of funding to promote social works was another challenge for the association and called for funding and support from government and other spirited organisations, just as he solicited partnership with the media.
In his remarks, the Acting Chairman of the Federated Correspondents Chapel, Mr. Chris Eze, while commending the association for the visit and their contribution to society, said the chapel will continue to partner and promote the activities of the association to achieve their goals.