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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

Hon. Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden Writes to her Officers at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender & Children's Affairs on Plans to Contract over 600 Young People
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Aug 25, 2016, 17:14
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The following piece can be shared. It was limited initially only to the official MSWGCA Whatsapp Group for staff only - but has now been opened up for suggestions from the wider public to be sent in. The Ministry sources say interested readers may input suggestions through local MSWGCA District or Regional Offices. Or by contacting Social Welfare Director Francis Kabia with suggestions.

 

TITLE: INITIAL FOUR MONTHS CONTRACT FOR 600 SOCIAL WORKERS TO BE DEPLOYED THROUGHOUT SIERRA LEONE

 

I'm proud to announce solely for this our internal ministerial discussions that our ministry is almost concluding arrangements with Donor partners for us to contract an additional 600 (six hundred) Social Workers to be deployed throughout Sierra Leone.

 

We are now negotiating with NRA to see how we can process it so that Each of the 600 Social Workers will not suffer excessive taxation and can take home one million leones (Le1,000,000) monthly.


 

We have so far secured funding to pay, on a 4 months Contract, the 600 Social Workers at a million leones per month, their District Supervisors/Data Managers (higher pay), Regional Liaison Officers (much higher pay) and a National Coordinator (6 million leones monthly) from September/October until the end of the year/January 2017. We are now continuing to lobby for additional funds to enable us continue their Contracts after the first 4 months.

 

In that regard, Mr. Francis Kabia, the Director of Social Welfare, has been given a mandate by me to immediately start to be reaching out to all of you in here for you to suggest geographical areas under your jurisdiction where you believe we will be required to place Social Workers. For example, previously we engaged less than 200 Social Workers and deployed at least one into every one of the 149 Chiefdoms. Unfortunately, the recruitment and continuous appraisal process of the previous administration of my predecessor during the last contract for less than 200 Social Workers, was seriously challenged and so, we all as a ministry, now accept, as resolved during the UNICEF mid-year review and the MSWGCA Field Staff Retreats, that the former exercise could have been better done.

 

I don't intend for the upcoming 600-strong Contracted Workforce to follow the failures we have now identified in previous contractual arrangements. We need to produce high quality outcomes this time that will make our citizens proud of our Ministry.

 

Members of the Presidential Delivery Team within the ministry, led by Mr. Saio Marah, with my oversight, have now come up with strategies as to how we can maximize our successes in this new exercise and minimize repetitions of what led to the failures under the previous administration. A higher educational level for Social Workers is now in place for criteria to be recruited. Qualification for recruitment as a Sierra Leone Social Worker, will now be higher than what used to be prior to my arrival as the Minister. Training and Appraisals will be continuous and periodic over the 4 months. Monitoring and Evaluation will be a hallmark of entire 4 months period. Even the Cabinet Minister is going to be an M&E Officer during the entire 4 months.

 

Noteworthy is that now we are going to engage 600 Social Workers, it means chiefdoms with critical areas will now have more than one Social Worker deployed in them. Very large Chiefdoms which His Excellency's government is planning to de-amalgamate, will have Social Workers deployed as per the pre-amalgamated boundaries. So a chiefdom like Port Loko's BKM Chiefdom, will now have 3 Social Workers instead of just one. Same with Lokomasama and other such super large amalgamated Chiefdoms.

 

Furthermore, areas that are prone to higher incidents of crime and social issues, will have additional Social Workers. For example, rutile mining areas of Moyamba and Bonthe and Iron Ore mining areas of Marampa and Ferengbeya, Tonkolili will also have additional Social Workers as there are normally many non-indigenes flowing into those areas with attendant social issues that such influx of strangers bring along. Same with diamond mining areas of Kono and Tongo fields.

 

Areas with high numbers of Ebola Survivors will also have extra Social Workers deployed so as to prioritize issues around Ebola Survivors.

 

Of course, every Police Station with a Family Support Unit, will have a Social Worker attached there.

 

So please, make your suggestions for now to Mr. Francis Kabia as to why you believe certain areas of Sierra Leone should be given higher numbers of Social Workers than other areas.

 

All suggestions should be made through your District SSO-In-Charge or through your Regional Director who will then pass the suggestion to the relevant new platform so the Ministry's leadership can read them and be informed as to emerging issues in various parts of Sierra Leone and learn from the suggestions which might inspire us in leadership to elevate our own thinking even higher

 

After the District and Regional Leaders submit your suggestions, I will eventually ask Mr. Francis Kabia to take the issue to the wider public for discussions and feedback. However, before going public, we would have first concretised our baseline suggestions position as a Ministry. So, I expect all suggestions to be made by midnight of Friday August 26th 2016.

 

Thank you all for your attention and let us start the ball rolling. The success of the Post-Ebola Recovery Priorities significantly lie on us at the MSWGCA.

 

So, let's start kicking the ball to score goals. Send your suggestions in.

 

Good day to everyone.

Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden.

Honourable Minister


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