International Social Workers Day

March 20, 2023 2:32 pm

Philipsburg – Community Development, Family, and Humanitarian (CDFHA) a department within the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour (VSA) observes International Social Worker’s Day under the banner, “Respecting diversity through joint social action.”

The International Federation of Social Workers indicated this year’s theme stems from the People’s Charter for a New Eco-Social World and recognizes that change happens locally through our diverse leaderful communities.

World Social Work Day is a celebration that aims to highlight social work's achievements, raise the visibility of social services for the future of societies, and defend social justice and human rights (FSW).

Every year, World Social Work Day is celebrated on the third Tuesday of March, it is a celebration that has become a high point in the social work calendar with social workers all over the world celebrating and promoting the contributions of the profession to individuals, families, communities and wider society.

As we celebrate Social Workers day here locally and reflect on the achievements made in the field over the years. In so doing, an informative interview on the development of Social Work and Social Services on Sint Maarten with pioneer Social Worker Mrs. Elaine Gumbs-Vlaun will be premiered on Inside Government today at 10 am and re-broadcasted on Friday at 8 pm. Please tune in.

We can truly say the Social Work profession in Sint Maarten has evolved. From a lone ranger in the person of Mrs. Elaine Gumbs-Vlaun managing welfare needs, families and children need to a plethora of Social Services.

Currently, Social Workers' presence is not limited to the Ministry of Social Development but can be found in other Ministries such as Ministries of Justice, Education, and Social and Health Care Agencies. For example, Social Workers are in the School System, Medical Center, White & Yellow Cross, Court of Guardian, Policy, Mental Health, Social Services, Community Development, Family & Humanitarian Affairs, and SJIS to mention a few.

Social Workers are professionals who would have undergone academic training and would attain a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work or higher. They are tasked with working with individuals (micro level), groups, families (mezzo level), communities, institutions, and systems (macro level).

The “Social Work professionals Break Barriers that prevent people and Communities from thriving (The New Social Worker online Journal). They help persons in crisis find the right resources to respond to life’s challenges and circumstances by offering: interventions, guidance, coaching, counseling, education, support, and the like.

Social Workers, look, listen, and link persons. This is not limited to individuals or families but it is also extended to Communities and institutions. Social Workers are also instrumental in developing policies that enhance the lives of the whole.

Today as Social Workers are celebrated, CDFHA and by extension, the Ministry of VSA say Thank You, for doing what you do in very difficult circumstances to keep the Social Fabric of our community from decaying. Thank you for being the vanguard. Thank You for supporting Families and Communities. Thank you for giving our children Hope in a hopeless world. Thank you for caring for and supporting our elderly. Thank you for the awareness and enlightenment. Thank you…Thank You!!!!