Translated by Mahaliza Mahadhir (email@example.com)
KUALA LUMPUR – The Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM), Mdm. Aiman Athirah Sabu expressed her support for the implementation of the Social Work Fundamental Professional Certificate (SPAKS) for social workers in the country.
According to her, the collaboration between Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) and Institut Sosial Malaysia (ISM) aims to enhance the competence of social workers, particularly those from the Department of Social Welfare (JKM) who have a significant role in delivering services to specific target populations.
“Malaysia’s top university under the age of 50 as ranked by the Times Higher Education (THE) Young University Ranking 2023 will definitely have a significant advantage in organising this SPAKS. This is because the university has recently joined forces with ISM which has been offering approximately 40 short and medium-term courses in the field of social work since its establishment in 2002,” she said while launching the Second National Social Work Conference (PESAN 2) at the ISM Intellectual Hall this morning.
During the ceremony, she also announced that KPWKM had successfully implemented four out of the six social work professions and social work competency training in Malaysia. The remaining two initiatives are still ongoing.
There are two initiatives underway. The first is the establishment of the Social Work Professions Council. The second is the development of the Social Work Professions Bill, which is currently being updated before it is submitted to the Attorney General’s Department.
She said that KPWKM consistently makes efforts to achieve recognition for the social work profession, especially through legal means.
She expressed confidence that within five years after the enactment of the Bill, the social work profession will experience increased recognition, a broader scope of practice and establishment of specialised areas within social work practice and majors.
She further reiterated that this profession extends beyond national boundaries. At the international level, Malaysia actively participates in the ASEAN Social Work Consortium (ASWC). This membership in ASWC grants Malaysia the mandate and trust in social work training from other ASEAN countries.
The Social Welfare Department (JKM) has been appointed and acknowledged as a member solidifying Malaysia’s role in the consortium. The management board of the ASEAN Social Training Centre for Social Work and Social Welfare (ATCSW) is responsible for overseeing the operations and activities of the centre.
The conference aptly themed, “Social Work Facing the New Ecosocial World” will take place over two days on 13 and 14 September 2023.
Also present at the event were the Secretary General of KPWKM, Datuk Dr Maziah Che Yusoff; the Director General of Higher Education, Prof. Dr Azlinda Azman; the Director of ISM, Dr Faridah Awang and UUM Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr Mohd Foad Sakdan.