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Sustaining Filipino Social Work: DSWD Academy Partners with University of the Philippines and ASEAN Consortium

 DSWD Academy ASEAN Consortium
DSWD partners with UPOU and ASWC-PH to launch the DSWD Academy, aimed at enhancing Filipino social workers’ skills and knowledge in line with evolving societal needs. Read about this innovative initiative and its potential impact on social welfare practice in the Philippines. Photo credit: DSWD NCR social workers at disaster management site.

A monumental step in the advancement of Filipino social work practice is at hand with the creation of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Academy in collaboration with the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) and the ASEAN Social Work Consortium-Philippines (ASWC-PH).

The partnership was confirmed through the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on June 19, 2023, between DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian, UPOU Chancellor Melinda DP. Bandalaria, and the official representatives of ASWC-PH member associations as plans for the academy were unveiled during the Filipino Social Workers’ Day celebration in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

The DSWD Academy is an innovative initiative aimed at enhancing the skills and knowledge of social workers, ensuring their capabilities align with the evolving needs of the Filipino community.

The ASEAN Consortium and the UPOU will function as the primary learning service providers for the DSWD Academy, supporting the Department by delivering technical assistance to social welfare and development intermediaries and other stakeholders.

Gatchalian highlighted the importance of the academy, emphasizing the critical role of continuous learning in keeping pace with the rapidly evolving landscape of social welfare practice. He accentuated the need for specialized training in social protection and disaster camp management, acknowledging the role of new technologies in these areas.

An integral part of the Academy’s mission is empowering social welfare assistants, including those working at local government units (LGUs) and early childhood development workers, enhancing their skill sets to align with those of social workers.

Gatchalian noted, “While we are developing and fostering upgraded skills for social workers, we are also empowering social welfare assistants and private individuals who are conducting social work practice.”

The DSWD is also advocating for the expansion of privileges and benefits for social workers. Assistant Secretary Janet Armas shared updates regarding Republic Act No. 9433, which seeks to increase the compensation and benefits of government service social workers.

The day’s celebration included the recognition of exemplary social workers and organizations, with awards like the 2023 Gawad Parangal Sa Natatanging Manggagawang Panlipunan and Gawad Parangal Sa Natatanging Asosasyon Ng Manggagawang Panlipunan.

The event was attended by social workers from across the country and from the various member organizations of ASWC-PH. Representatives from key childcare, health, and social development associations were also present.

The launch of the DSWD Academy marks a significant milestone in Philippine social work, embodying a strong commitment to continuous learning, empowerment, and recognition of social workers’ dedication and service.

UPOU has also been offering free online education to the public, with 23 courses scheduled this year.

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The Good News Pilipinas Team
The Good News Pilipinas Team
The Good News Pilipinas Team is a group of Filipino journalists who advocate putting more good news stories about the Philippines and Filipinos on the media.

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