Social welfare services

I refer to the article entitled ‘Children Protection Bill: “Beware adding pressure on social workers”’ (August 14).

It was reported that “since the Social Care Standards Authority is not independent of the government, the Bill would lead to lower checks and balances for some services, creating the possibility of discrimination and militating against the welfare of minor service users and their families”.

The Social Care Standards Authority (SCSA) would like to correct some inaccuracies in the article. The SCSA is a regulatory body corporate with a distinct legal personality set up by Act No. XV of 2018. It aims at improving quality and standards in social welfare services to protect and enhance the dignity, safety and welfare of all service users.

The SCSA is set to achieve its goals both through support and regulation, wherein the service user as well as the service provider will be actively involved in the ongoing process of standard development and improvement.

The SCSA anticipates the process of regulation to be a constructive experience that is to be carried out through consultation, collaboration and dialogue. It believes that, through its operations, it will succeed in positively shaping social welfare practices as well as the qualitative development of service in the sector.

This is also clearly spelt in the law setting up the SCSA wherein it is held that the latter is committed to monitor, review and enforce all operations involving the provision of social welfare services provided by agencies, public or private entities or any other entity or person, in a fair and equal manner.

Thus, in carrying out the functions assigned under the proposed Child Protection Bill, the SCSA will act independently, keeping the best interest of the service user in mind.

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