Our social worker has many responsibilities to carry out in our children’s home. But her greatest priority is to monitor the children’s needs and give them personal, emotional and social support.
Zanele Dube has been serving as a residential social worker at St. Joseph CYCC for more than seven years. For her, daily tasks are never the same as she has many different roles to perform. When a child has to be taken in, it is Zanele’s job to coordinate the admission process with the field social worker and also prepare space for the child in the children’s home with the help of the senior care worker.
Once the child has been placed in our institution the social worker then has to arrange a reunification programme- this is when she works closely with the family of the child in order to rectify the reason of removal or find a foster placement. As these processes are taking place, it is also Zanele’s duty to give the Department of Social Development (DSD) and its field social workers feedback on the child’s development. “One of my core responsibilities is to do counseling for the children and parents on a daily basis”, she says. This helps to create a safe and stimulating environment for the children and help their parents to settle into family life.
Each child residing at St. Joseph has a file which contains all important documents and information about the personal development of every child. These files are maintained and updated by our social worker on a regular basis. She also oversees external references, for example psychologists, hospital visits, holiday placements, school issues or anything else that needs outside attention. In a children’s home like ours, the job is to manage 30 young lives from 0 to 12 years – a great responsibility, that never seems to be too much for our social worker.
Text & Photos by Sr. Maria Machi