Unregulated Social Work Practice in Botswana: A Risk to Professional Integrity and Clients’ Welfare

Main Article Content

Kgomotso Jongman
More Tshupeng

Abstract

Through professional regulation, the aspirational goals of the Code of Ethics is to become a legal obligation with enforceable accountability for public protection. The professional regulation does not only protect the public but also gives integrity and respect to the profession. Social workers are licensed and they always know that malpractice may lead to losing their registration and licenses. The above is a reality in many countries, while in Botswana, after 74 years since the first social welfare officer started to work in the welfare department, the country has not yet established any regulatory body. Even though the regulation might not be a guarantee for ethical practice, but it is better to have a framework that can be used to regulate in terms of monitoring and evaluating practice. The education and practice of social work is unregulated and has left a vacuum where, anybody who government deems to be eligible can be employed as social worker. The above statement is buttressed by the Children’s Act, 2009 section 2, which says, ‘a social worker is a person who holds a qualification in social work, or such other qualification as may be prescribed, and is employed as such by government or such other institution as maybe approved under this Act and any other law’. This has brought challenges in dealing with values, principles and standards of social work, teaching and practice in Botswana [1]. The complaint is that social workers are unprofessional and not adhering to their own code of conduct. From the complaints, the assumption is that social work has a code of conduct as a heling profession. The reality is there is no code of conduct and there is no licensure in Botswana. This paper is a narrative of examples of cases where social workers were deemed not adhering to their professional ethics and not providing service to the most vulnerable at the time of need. These stories are used as a yardstick to argue for the establishment of an ACT of parliament which will establish the council of social work. The council will be a regulatory body of social work.

Keywords:
Social work, ethics, council, regulation.

Article Details

How to Cite
Jongman, K., & Tshupeng, M. (2020). Unregulated Social Work Practice in Botswana: A Risk to Professional Integrity and Clients’ Welfare. Journal of Education, Society and Behavioural Science, 33(4), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.9734/jesbs/2020/v33i430212
Section
Original Research Article

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