The Society of Social Work Students (SSWS) organised a Social Policy Seminar for the social work majors and social work practitioners on 16th March 2012 in the aim of raising awareness of the importance of influencing social policies in social work practice. As a society that aims to enhance the welfare of social work students, we believe that exposing our members to creative ways by which they can shape social policy even while being involved in direct practice would benefit them and their clients as future social work professionals. We hope that by creating an awareness of the important role that social workers have in influencing social policies, social work students would become more proactive social workers in the future by reviewing their cases and providing consistent feedback to appropriate bodies. Consequently, we hope that social policies would soon be shaped primarily by the input of groundwork done by direct social work practitioners.
As such, the organizing committee worked closely with our seniors and our social work professors in order to gather advice and feedback from them to ensure the smooth flow of our planning process. We invited Mr S R Nathan as our key note speaker as well as distinguished social work practitioners in the field, Mrs Corrine Koh from MCYS, Mr Desmond Chin from the Prisons and Ms Ho Lai Peng from Tan Tock Seng Hospital to share about the development and implementation of social policies in the different contexts that they work in and there was a Question and Answer session during which students could ask the speakers questions.
Reflecting upon the seminar, it has been a great learning experience planning for the seminar and we have thoroughly enjoyed the process. In addition, the seminar has been very enriching and insightful and has given us a better understanding of social policies in Singapore. We are very thankful for the support by our social work professors and majors and we look forward to organising similar events again in the future!