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Region needs more young social workers: Experts

Afkar Abdullah /Sharjah
Filed on November 17, 2019 | Last updated on November 17, 2019 at 11.48 pm

Dr Al Bah stressed the need to join forces to build a "social observatory" that can identify and study issues like substance abuse and dropouts.

Taking up a career in social work doesn't seem to be on the cards for many young people today and, according to social workers from different Gulf countries, this is a problem that needs to be solved.

Participants of the AGCC Social Workers Forum - organised by Sharjah Social Workers Association - pointed out that professions related to social work lacked incentives and the lessons taught at universities were mainly based on theories and were "detached" from realities on the ground.

These, they said, were among the reasons why the youth are hesitant to become social workers. Dr Jamal Al Bah, vice-chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Socialists and chairman of the Arab Family Organisation, said universities in the region lacked specialisation courses that are related to family and social development.

"Lack of specialised social workers who could provide proper family counselling may lead to an increase in divorce cases and other issues," Dr Al Bah said.

Dr Al Bah stressed the need to join forces to build a "social observatory" that can identify and study issues like substance abuse and dropouts. And to address these, specialised research must also be done.

Dr Jassim Khalil Mirza, chairman of Sharjah Social Workers Association, said that in achieving these social development goals, it is important for young people to be engaged in humanitarian work.

"Honing their interest in the field can generate creative ideas in this area," Dr Mirza said.

afkarali@khaleejtimes.com

Afkar Abdullah


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