Oyo State government has admonished social workers in the State to maintained social distances, high level of hygiene and other health guidelines enacted to ensure that COVID-19 (Corona virus) was contained both at home and work environments.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Mrs Christiana Abioye who is herself a social worker, gave this admonition during year 2020 World Social Work Day celebrations with the theme; “Promotion of the importance of human relationships in workplace”, organized by Nigeria Association of Social Workers (NASOW), Oyo State chapter held at the conference room of the Ministry.
In her keynote address, Mrs Abioye said, “it is important for social workers to be vigilant and equipped themselves with CONVID-19 information as it was relevant as they are on the front line, working in the trenches with many vulnerable persons at borders of social services, deportees, trafficking, crime, childcare, health, elderly and care for the disabled.
“Social workers are agents of change who through their actions could change and equally influence what happened with COVID-19 disease while working with other professionals as a collective responsibility, hence the need for vigilance and alertness.”
Mrs Abioye assured continuous support of Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration to their programmes and activities in the State that would bring succor to the less privileged.
Speaking on the theme of the year, the guest lecturer from the Department of Social Work, Faculty of Education, University of Ibadan, Professor Emmanuel Ajala said the topic was necessary due to usual conflicts in both private and public organizations.
“Overtime, we have discovered that most people in our work places have conflicts between themselves as co-workers, within the organizations, management and co staff, but if there is proper development of human relations by social workers who might evaluate and educate all employees and employers, workplaces will be worth sharing since most workers spend the first eight hours of the day that is useful at the workplace,” he said.
Professor Ajala explained further that, there might be challenges in discharging the duties expected of this category of workers, but they should not allow personal issues to distract them while handling their clients.
“Although as human being, there are family work interferences, but as a disciplined social worker who must have imbibed the necessary skills required for good human relationships, they are expected to put their problems at home, put their egos away, develop good communication skills to secure confidence of their clients so as to manage them very well,” Ajala explained.
He lamented on the issue of no value for social workers in our country both at homes and work places stressing that most of the suicide attempts should not had occurred if there are social workers in schools and workplaces as confidants to prevent the occurrences adding that there should be a place for social worker at all spheres of human interactions.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Nigeria Association of Social Workers, (NASOW), Oyo state chapter, Mr Adegoke Ayodele said the programme was an annual event that reflected on the way of practice, connect with people and handling related issues and matters as it affected the profession.