Delores Christopher has told social workers to become more creative in exercising vigilance, adding that as parents and guardians have been abusing children behind social workers’ backs.
As such, the government lawmaker said she wants social workers to habitually pay surprise visits to homes, and to start visiting homes for a longer period of time.
“When the officer leaves, it is a different story taking place in the home and happening to the child. There should be some follow-ups that the home is not aware when the social worker is going to pop up not only within a month; it should happen long after.”
“Yes we know of cases where people pretend – they pretend to be cooperating but they are really abusing the child when the social worker has left, and months after. It happens,” Christopher told social workers who visited the House of Assembly recently to witness a debate on the Child Maintenance and Access Bill, which was eventually passed.
Christopher noted that, under the proposed law, social workers have been entrusted with much power.
Reading a section of the Bill, she said: “The court, in considering any question with respect to a child under this act, may ask the chief social development officer to prepare a social inquiry report before consideration of an application for an order for maintenance or access.”
“The chief social development officer shall cause to be made home visits by a social worker to interview the parents or guardian of the child concerned, and to carry out investigations concerning the child before submitting a social inquiry report,” the Bill said.
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