Ashgabat, 3 May 2021: Around 70 professionals  representing the guardianship and custody bodies, inspectorates for minor affairs, police, drug abuse clinics, education and health care sectors who are collectively called “allied workforce” have successfully completed a week-long foundational competencies training in social work in all the regions of Turkmenistan and the city of Ashgabat. The training was organized by the UNDP as part of UN-Turkmenistan Joint Programme on community-based social services in close cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Turkmenistan and with the technical support of the Participating UN Agencies.

This training is one in a series of trainings of the country’s social workforce, including social work specialists, social work managers  and social service providers ahead of piloting new community-based social services  which is due to start this May. The current training aimed to ensure that frontline social work specialists are supported by fully competent local authorities, decision-makers and allied workforce who are expected to play an important role in piloting new community-based social services.  

During the training, the allied workforce professionals enhanced their knowledge and competencies of interdisciplinary approach to social work and its main principles, early identification of problems different target groups face, communication with vulnerable peoples, successful practices in preventing violence, including gender-based violence, referral, preliminary assessment in social work and many other pressing issues of social work.

The allied workforce representatives also met with the new social work specialists working in the pilot etraps across Turkmenistan who shared their first-hand experiences in interacting with vulnerable populations at the community level and challenges they face as the first professionals of such kind. The social work specialists and allied workforce professionals also discussed opportunities and advantages of joint work.

The Joint Programme “Improving the system of social protection through the introduction of inclusive quality community-based social services”, funded by the Joint SDG Fund, is being implemented by the partnering UN agencies, namely, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, and UNODC and Government of Turkmenistan. The Joint Programme aims to introduce a new model of social services at the community level accompanied by relative legislative reviews and capacity building of national social service workforce. The lead national partner is the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of Turkmenistan and the lead UN agency is UNICEF. Other key national partners include the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, and Ministry of Finance and Economy.

Implementation period: 2020-2022.

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