We Social Workers Sierra Leone -SWSL, applaud the role of First Lady Fatima Maada Bio, the Ministry of Gender and Children’s Affairs-SL, alongside the Sierra Leone House of Parliament, to passed such a bill.

This bill not only favors the children, but also good for our nation. Child marriage is disgusting and with direct impacts more on the girls affecting their education, health, psychological etc..

One major area to reduce government spending on health is to make the right laws such as banning child marriage.

For far too long, Sierra Leone has been ranked one of the highest child marriage, early pregnancy and maternal mortality rates in the world, with about one-third of girls married before the age of 18, and another third giving birth before the age of 19, according to the Ministry of Health Demographic and Health Survey, 2019.

However, this timely and important bill make us social workers more worried and less hopeful about government willingness to recognize and upgrade social work as a profession.

It’s just too early, and waste of resources to have prohibition officers and social workers in the child welfare system. Already, there are graduates social workers countless some have even graduated over five years or more yet unable to gain employment.

By law, the functions are different as stated in the bill for the social workers and prohibition officers, while in practice, a social worker can also perform the functions provided for prohibition officers.

An empowered social work profession and social services workforce can enhance the protection of children, identifying the risks of children and managing those risks provide them the care and support needed.

We call on government to hastily recognize social work as a profession and support the strengthening of the profession before considering to create more titles in the welfare system especially in child protection.#ACall4SocialWorkRecognization&UpgradeByLaw!