More social workers needed in SA - study
Almost 17,000 social workers are employed in government and non-profit organisations.
CAPE TOWN -South Africa faces a dire shortage of social workers, a new study revealed on Tuesday.
According to research conducted by the SA Institute of Race Relations, almost 17,000 social workers are employed in government and non-profit organisations.
There is one social worker for approximately every 6,000 people in both the Western Cape and Gauteng.
The institute attributes this ratio to poor pay.
The organisation's Lerato Moloi said case loads are increasing, making it difficult for workers to attend to an array of social needs.
"According to the Department of Social Development, it takes 16,504 social workers to carry out the social welfare needs of children, in terms of the Children's Act.
"That means 99 percent of all the registered social workers are meant to be carrying out the social needs of children."
Moloi said government needs to invest more.
"Social workers are also expected to provide services related to substance abuse, the elderly, people with disabilities, crime prevention and HIV/Aids support."