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Kerala Association of professional social workers (KAPS)

19-20 Aug 2017
NOTES of II Kerala Social Work Congress and V Annual General Body of Kerala Association of Professional Social Work.
Second KSWC; Assembled at PSSP hall, Palakkad.
Started with a silent prayer.
Self introduction
Mr.Shibu State Co-ordinator Vikaspedia had taken a session on Vikaspedia
Dr. Jose Antony, HoD Department of Social Work, Sree Sankara Sanskrit University, Kalady & President, ASSK – Challenges and opportunities before Social Work Profession
1. Increasing government cooptation of NGO space through GONGOs and NGO patterned projects
2. Funding related regulations and measures threatening the very existence of voluntary sector
3. Need for establishing social work as a profession, with distinguishing professional competence – such as ‘empowerment’.
4. Need to establish linkages with people in right positions to influence government policies and programmes in this direction
Dr. Jose Antony promised all support of ASSK in furthering the cause of the profession and professional body.
Fr. Joye James moderated a session on sharing of practice experiences by Dr.Jayachandran
Padmasree Dr. John Kurian Melamparambil – inaugural address of Social Work Congress. He shared his experience of becoming an entrepreneur to support one’s philanthropy. He has offered to support programmes against corruption – that is, awareness regarding ‘honesty’ – programmes to the tune of Rs. 3 lakhs. Dr. Kurian John formally accepted the membership of the professional body. He was honoured on behalf of KAPS by the President.
Evening everyone assembled infront of Palakkad, held lighted candles fort and pledged to fight the causes spoiling childhood especially the social media influence to the extent of blue whale game.

Day 2 started with
Dr.Ipe Varughese welcomed gathering.
Adv. Joice George MP – inauguration of AGM 2017
He raised the issue of the need for establishing the profession with its distinguishing features as an inevitable or unavoidable presence or service in various sectors. This requires drastic rethinking on the curriculum. He confessed that the making of a successful career in law had been influenced by the training he received as a social worker.
He promised to facilitate the presentation of a private bill, preferably at the centre, regarding social work profession and the need for a Social Work Council of India. He also received formal membership of the association.
Mr. M.P. Antoni, veteran social worker, now a member of child rights commission, stressed the need for identifying space and establishing oneself through determined positioning and voluntary spirit. He was honoured by the President of KAPS.
Mr Nasar, on the personal staff of LSG minister Dr. Jaleel, stressed the need to lobby with the government as well as to make our presence meaningful in the local decision making bodies – Gramasabha.
The short breaks available were made use of for self introduction of the participants.
There were sessions of ‘awakening songs’ led by PSW Fr. Lenin Antony SJ of Aadi, Attappady. On 19th night there was an informal fellowship session, in which the participants freely presented their talents of music and theatre. On 19th evening, the students of Sahyajyoti College put up a short performance on the women’s plight. A similar theme was enacted on 20th by the MSW students of Mercy College, Palakkad.
In the general body, there was active participation with many members raising their concerns on various aspects of professional status, especially of job positions and the possibilities for the Professoinal Social Worker.
• Prafulladas – Need to define social work profession without ambiguity
• Jaison (James) – Social welfare board
• Dileep – government scheme/projects like KSACS social security & job security measures for Social Workers; the need for consideration of service in projects for new posts in similar projects/state schemes – age bar stipulations to take into account such service as well.
• Wincy – Social Worker as School counselors face many constraints on account of lack of facilities and span of area or units to be covered.
• Madhusoodhanan – MCI stipulations regarding SW in medical colleges to be followed
• Binu Mathew – whether MSWs could be deployed in assisting the MPs in the utilization of MP funds (25 crores in 5 years)
• Rev. Fr. Joye James SJ, former President KAPS and member CWC Trivandrum, presented the case of Mr. Reji who had been removed from Kutumbasree Project after several years of service. The gathering noted with regret that none of those thus victimized was willing to find time to present their case in the assembly. Fr. Joye appealed that a proper presentation of the case was to be done by KAPS before appropriate authorities.
• A committee consisting of PSW Fr. Joye James (Thiruvananthapuram), PSW Dileep (Pathanamthitta), Azad (Alappuzha), Mr.Jinesh Lal Thrissur was formed to formulate an apt representation on behalf of KAPS.
• A committee to look into the positions in the government was constituted consisting of ….
• A committee consisting of …. Was constituted to conceive a framework for updation programmes/courses for professionals.
• It was decided to provide membership for BSW holders with the following conditions:
– If a member with BSW pursues MSW, s/he shall not hold any office during one’s student ship. Office positions at the district or state level can be held only after completion of 3 years of professional work after attaining membership.
• It was decided to take up the discussion on membership for those who have attained MSW in the distance mode, at a later stage. It was suggested that those who have UGC recognized degree (in distance mode) and having a stipulated number of years of professional work experience, could be granted membership. However, since it was felt that there was need for extended debate on the issue it was decided to be taken for another time.
• It was reiterated that membership drive must be strengthened and a target of 1000 be reached before the next AGM.
• It was decided that annual subscription of Rs. 100 should be made by every member.
• Though titles like PSP or PswP (Professional Social Work Practitioner) were put forward, finally, It was decided to use the title PSW (Professional Social Worker) ad experimentum by all professional social workers, having membership of KAPS. (???).
The efforts made by Palakkad chapter under the active leadership of Mr. Abdul Rahim and others and the very active support of Thrissur chapter under the leadership of Mr. Jineshlal were duly acknowledged.
Aug. 20, 2017 Palakkad
130 Professional Social Workers and 30 student social workers representing all districts of the state of Keralam, gathered at Palakkad PSSP Hall on 19th August and at Mini Town Hall on 20th August for the second Kerala Social Work Congress and fifth Annual General Body Meet. They deliberated on various issues confronting Social Work profession and shared Social Work experiences from various fields.
The gathering expressed solidarity with victims of natural calamities like flood in the North and North East part of the country, the families of the children who lost their lives on account of the human induced disaster of Gorakhpur, the various segments of the planet affected by war and strife and Social Work professionals who are in struggle for justice and dignity of labour in the state of Keala.
The gathering resolved:
1. To work towards establishing a Social Work Council by initiating an adequate legislation
2. To ensure that the Social Work academic programmes are recognized as professional programmes by all the universities of Keralam
3. To enlist basic competencies for a Professional Social Work Practitioner (PSW)in the state and ensure that the Social Work training in various schools of social work are equipped for the same.
4. To seek to establish a viable collective involving various groups of Social Work professionals employed in the state government or government projects
5. To use PSW (Professional Social Worker) as our professional title (abbreviated) and use the same in all our correspondences and email signature.
6. To present before the government the case of mandatory/desirable posts of professional social workers required in various settings, especially in Medical Colleges as per MCI norms.
7. To organize periodical updation programmes for professional members through district chapters/schools of social work/on line courses.
8. To form a data base of Social Work professionals in the state, and a district level directory.
9. To press universities to have a re-look at the provisions for guideship so that various students seeking to do Ph. D research.
10. To ensure a fair representation of KAPS at the IFSW – ICSW conference in Dublin 2018.
The gathering symbolically pledged their solidarity with the suffering segments of the planet especially the younger generations who are increasingly becoming victims of various abuses and addiction.
The gathering pledged to meet with greater vigour at Alappuzha next year.

"This is very important for millions of children who are denied their childhood, who are denied their freedom, who are denied their health and education."
Kailash Satyarthi, 2014 NOBEL Peace Prize Winner
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