A Focus on Family Services : Part One

For the next couple of blog posts, we will be focusing on our fantastic Family Services Department. We hope you enjoy reading a bit about the wonderful work they do here at Cabrini! 

Uplifting one another: Capacity Building Training for Partners of Cabrini Ministries

Cabrini Ministries Swaziland continues to pride itself on being an organisation in which capacity building of its staff as well as it partners is essential in advancing professionalism within the country particularity in regards to social service provision. During 2015, Family Services staff took on the task of offering a two part series of capacity building training.

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Capacity building training conducted (During the 2nd and 3rd quarter) included topics such as: Introduction to the Psychosocial Approach, A Family Centred Approach to completing a Comprehensive Assessment, Client Engagement: Empowering Vulnerable and At-Risk Clients, Basic Counselling/Interviewing Techniques, Recognizing Strengths and Challenges on the Homestead, and Reducing Burn-Out and Increasing Professional Self-Awareness.

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We anticipated only 15 DSW attendees, but due to the expressed interest of the Lubombo Regional Social Welfare Stakeholder Group, we had more than 40 participants every session. The attendees consisted of representatives from local NGOs working in the Lubombo region, Department of Social Welfare staff (from Mbabane, Manzini, and Lubombo region), Ministry of Education Guidance and Counselling staff, Royal Swazi Police personnel, Immigration, and etc. from the Lubombo region. Pre and post questionnaires and participant training evaluation forms were completed by the attendees.

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Many of the attendees were highly pleased with the training offered continue to say “they are learning a lot”. Training materials were created by the former and present Family Services Managers whom are both Master Level Social Workers. For the introduction to counselling training, Family Services staff collaborated with a Swazi master-level consultant who conducted a session on Basic Counselling Skills in Siswati.  In designing of the materials, previous DSW case management training materials were reviewed to ensure that the trainings built off of the previous ones and ensured no disconnection.

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For the training, scholarly research was conducted using journal articles addressing Social Work related issues and Social Work and Psychology academic textbooks, also child welfare literature from Australia, South Africa, and etc. Certificates of participation were formally presented in September of 2015, by the Acting Director of Department of Social Welfare and the Chief of Part of HFG/Abt Associates.  During the conclusion of the year in December, the Lubombo SW Stakeholders group met and with the assistance of the Cabrini staff developed a referral form that would be piloted for usage within the region in 2016.

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