Social workers are frontline workers supporting community development efforts to help individuals, families, and particularly the most vulnerable groups to navigate challenges and become more resilient. The South African College of Applied Psychology (Sacap) is a private tertiary institution with a mission to contribute towards closing the skills gap by providing the country with well-trained, work-ready social work practitioners and changemakers in meeting the country’s development goals in line with the National Development Plan.
Last year, Sacap launched the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree which is aligned with both national and international qualifications standards and enables graduates to register with the South African Council for Social Services Professions (SACSSP). The four-year blended learning education programme includes a substantial work integrated learning component to boost opportunities to acquire varied skills and experience in the field and help meet South Africa’s urgent requirements for innovative and creative social work professionals.
Ahead of its 2022 intake of new students, Sacap has now announced a 25% subsidy from year 1 to year 4 for its Bachelor of Social Work education programme.
Veteran social work educator, Dr Poppy Masinga is the head of the Social Work and Community Development Faculty at Sacap, as well as the current president of the Association of South African Social Work Education Institutions (ASASWEI) and chairperson of the International Association of Social Work with Groups (IASWG) – South Africa/Africa Chapter.
She says: “Sacap is committed to our long-term goal of training social work practitioners who are responsive to South Africa's complex needs. We know that communities are facing overwhelming socio-economic and mental health challenges, which is why we are educating and producing skilled practitioners who will become advocates that are capable of bridging the divide that exists between the masses of marginalised, vulnerable citizens and the few privileged individuals. For the right candidate, social work offers one of the most rewarding and future-proof careers in this Century.”
The South African Government has recognised the need for a strong and capable social work and community development workforce to support the country’s transformation to a safe, equitable and thriving society for all. In 2021, the Department of Social Development spearheaded talks across national and provincial departments to create new employment opportunities for social work graduates. Thus, the 25% subsidy will provide access to educational opportunities to a diverse group of aspirant social work students. This gesture demonstrates Sacap’s commitment to partnering with the Department of Social Development in contributing to the country’s skills development programme.
Sacap’s 25% subsidy for students enrolling in our degree this year is one of the key ways that we are making it possible for young people who want to make a difference in various communities across the country.
“We train innovative social workers not just as problem-solving foot soldiers deployed in our communities to perform crisis management tasks and/or hand-out food parcels, but also as transformative leaders to influence policy and drive sustainable change across all aspects of our society,” says Masinga. With a focus on green social work, environmental justice, advocacy and sustainable development, the programme will empower students and prospective professional social workers with context-relevant knowledge and skills. “Emerging issues such as the climate crisis and the digital divide fall into their scope of work as they aim towards a more equitable and just future for all. This is an exciting time for the profession and opportune for social work students” concludes Masinga.
To find out more about Sacap’s Bachelor of Social Work degree click here.