by Sharrel Jackson |
In observance of March as Social Work Month, Department of Children & Family Services Social Worker Sharrel Jackson gives a glimpse of what the work of the profession and its professionals entails and how DCFS is celebrating the month.
March is internationally recognised as Social Work Month. The Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS), the Cayman Islands’ principal social work service provider, leads the charge in celebrating Social Work Month.
DCFS celebrates its 60th anniversary this year and commences this observance by acknowledging the work and dedication of its staff and by raising awareness about the profession.
DCFS is observing the National Association of Social Workers’ (NASW) 2023 Social Work Month Theme, Social Work Breaks Barriers. This theme focuses on the role of the social work profession in breaking barriers and overcoming challenges which impede people and communities from thriving. NASW, based in the United States, is the world’s largest organisation of professional social workers and offers membership to local social workers.
The social work profession is diverse and the roles and responsibilities are almost limitless. Social workers operate in many different settings, including schools, hospitals, mental health facilities, counselling services, child welfare/protection departments, community rehabilitation departments and prisons.
While their individual agency’s focus may be different, members of the profession all share common principles; they are people dedicated to seeking equality and social justice for all communities and helping people achieve their potential.
Every day, social workers in the Cayman Islands work arduously to break down barriers that prevent people from improving and leading more fulfilling lives.
We are change agents, problem solvers, life coaches, critical thinkers, facilitators, advocates, counsellors, clinicians, organisers, activists, lobbyists, and researchers.
We work at various levels in the community. At times, we work one-on-one with individuals or families facing challenges such as mental health/emotional issues, child or domestic abuse, housing, financial or health constraints.
We work in group settings by delivering programmes targeted at addressing social constraints identified, such as parenting. We work in communities seeking to restore hope and empower positive collective action. We also advocate at the societal level for the establishment or improvement of legislation and policies that would make a better life for our citizens.
The Department of Children & Family Services is, throughout this month, hosting events to recognise social workers, celebrate their achievements and raise awareness about the profession. Observances started with a church service at Emslie United Church in Grand Cayman on 5 March and a second service will be held at Hillside Chapel in Cayman Brac on 26 March.
We will also appear on radio programmes during March to speak more on Social Work Month and sensitise the public on what we do. In partnership with the Social Work Programmme at University College of the Cayman Islands, a wellness workshop for seniors will be held on 23 March in Cayman Brac.
DCFS Staff will benefit from wellness activities and the month culminates with our annual Award Ceremony on 31 March.
Follow the DCFS Facebook page (@dcfscayman) this month as we share more about social work and the workers who make the difference.