Students Hear About Social Work in Practice
UKZN Social Work students attended two guest presentations as part of their first year course: “Fields of Practice in Social Work”.
The presentations were delivered by Ms Zilungile Dlamini of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and Major Derrick Olivier, Area Manager for the Social Work Department at the Area Military Health Unit in KwaZulu-Natal.
Both Dlamini and Olivier spoke about their roles as social workers in their respective departments and their lived experiences in their profession, while sharing insightful and interesting information about what students could expect in the field.
Students also heard about how to be an effective social worker.
Dlamini told students that learnerships offered by DCS consisted of both theoretical and practical training in how to contribute to the rehabilitation of prisoners. ‘As a trainee you will be taught how to do this via correction and human development in a humane, secure and safe detention or under community-based correctional supervision.
‘The DCS learnership will give you the opportunity to learn the skills and gain the knowledge, acceptable workplace behaviour and attitude required in the correctional services,’ she said.
Olivier showed video clips of life as a social worker within the military and his overall experiences in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. ‘You are first a soldier and then a social worker. You are deployed on the frontline and this job demands loyal dedicated service. As military social workers, you have to give support to people and soldiers left behind after war and conflict situations,’ he said.
Both Dlamini and Olivier advised students to be humane and genuine and to help people as much as possible.
Students Mr Sanele Mhlongo and Ms Nomzamo Mbhense said the presentations by the guest speakers had been highly motivational and educational.
‘These talks showed us what we can expect in the future as social workers and how we can make a difference in society and in the lives of people. This further emphasised how important the role of social workers is and we plan to uphold and maintain the ethic and integrity,’ said Mhlongo.