THE Ministry of Social Development and Family Services continues to implement its Public Information Education and Sensitization Sessions which was launched in January 2017, to various stakeholder groups.
Following the sessions which were held at the constituencies in 2017, the ministry is now engaging the Medical Social Workers within the Regional Health Authorities.
Sessions were conducted at the South West, North West, Eastern and North Central Regional Health Authorities throughout the months of December and last month.
The Public Information, Education and Sensitization sessions are aimed at sharing information on the ministry’s programmes and services and how these could be accessed.
The project involves a strategic and targeted approach to engage and inform the audiences and simultaneously, ascertain the varying manifestations and extent of social issues, which necessitate intervention by the Ministry at the local level.
During each session, presentations on the various programmes and services are made and following this questions are entertained by Officers attached to the key delivery divisions of the Ministry.
Participants are also given the opportunity to provide suggestions and offer solutions to many of the challenges faced in the delivery of social services across the social sector.
During the sessions within the RHAs, participants including the Chief Medical Officer, managers, medical officers, medical social workers, registered nurses and students were engaged to discuss problems and challenges; as well as provide feedback and recommendations for greater collaboration and efficient service delivery to the vulnerable. Among the issues/suggestions raised were: the establishment of a Medical Officer on the Central Board; increased collaboration amongst the social sector with a recommendation for the establishment of a Multi-Agency Team to collaborate and address social problems; review and amendments of the Bye-laws related to social welfare grants; improvement of the Client Referral Process; and greater emphasis on persons with disabilities and children with special needs
The Ministry is seeking to extend its Public Information, Education and Sensitization sessions to the education sector in the near future, so that the much needed information required to facilitate easy access the its programmes and services can be conveyed to ensure that social exclusion is reduced and no one is left behind.