Children of Fire
Bad Social Workers|
If you encounter a bad social worker in South Africa, you can use the rules below to prepare a complaint to the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP). It takes a long time (often more than a year) to get action, in which time that social worker typically continues to be employed on a full salary and continues to act negligently.
To contact the Council, phone 012 356 8315. Be patient as they may take a long time to answer the telephone. You can also email Ms Selina Sekhu at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rules: Acts or Omissions
ACTS OR OMISSIONS DEEMED TO BE UNPROFESSIONAL OR IMPROPER
1. Subjects to the provisions of section 21(1) of the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978 (the Act), it is hereby determined that the acts or omissions set out in these rules shall be deemed to be unprofessional or improper conduct on the part of a social worker.
BEHAVIOUR DETRIMENTAL TO THE PROFESSIONS
2. The following acts or omissions of a social worker shall be deemed to be detrimental to the profession and to constitute unprofessional or improper conduct:
(1) The negligent performance of his professional duties.
(2) The execution of his professional duties in a manner which does not comply with general accepted standards of practicing the profession.
(3) Behaviour which, with due regard to the prestige, status and dignity of the profession, is detrimental to his position as a social worker or to the profession as such.
(4) Being guilty of or participating in or associating with dishonesty in the execution of his professional duties.
(5) The offering of a direct or indirect compensation or any other form of incentive whatsoever for the referral of clients.
(6) The receiving of or agreeing to receive direct or indirect compensation or any other form of incentive for the purpose referred to in sub-rule (5).
(7) The sharing of money received for professional services with any person who contributes or contributed to such services, unless such person is a partner or such sharing of money is reasonably commensurate with such person’s contribution to the services rendered.
(8) Refusing without sufficient cause, to render professional services which he took on or for which he has employed.
(9) The employment of any person as a social worker, student social worker or social auxiliary worker, knowing that such person has not been registered in terms of the Act;
(10) Failure to refer a client to a colleague, or another person or body with specialised knowledge in a field, should the matter fall so far outside his field of training or experience that such referrals could in the circumstances be reasonably considered necessary.
(11) Failure to keep record of acts performed, money managed, and fees charged in all matters dealt with by him in his capacity as a social worker.
BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS CLIENTS
4. The following acts or omissions of social worker regarding behaviour towards clients, shall be deemed to constitute unprofessional or improper conduct:
(1) The divulgence of information, which came to his attention in the course of the execution of his professional duties, concerning a client, or a deceased person who during his life was a client except -
(a) to the extent that the divulgence is in the client’s interest, or is necessary for the proper management of the case of the client concerned or of other cases; or
(b) if the social worker is ordered to do so by a competent court or is otherwise legally bound to do so: provided that if disclosure of such information is not part of a recognised statutory function of the social worker in question, that is information may be divulged only under protest; or
(c) with the express consent of the client or if the client cannot give his consent -
(i) his curator personae, or
(ii) in the case of a minor, his parent or guardian; or
(iii) the surviving spouse, or if there is no surviving spouse, a major child of a deceased client or, if there is no major child, an executor appointed by the Master of the Supreme Court.
2. The administration of a client’s money in an inefficient, irresponsible or negligent manner.
3. The receipt of any bribe, or agreement to receive any bribe in connection with any matter which is directly or indirectly related to his professional duties or practice.
4. Discrimination against a client on account of social or economic status, sex, race, religion, language or nationality.
5. The performance of an act belonging to a professional field other than social work, including the performing of psychometric tests for purposes of diagnosis and therapy, unless he is properly qualified therefore or legally authorised thereto.
6. The preventing of a client from procuring advice or assistance from another person who is authorised by law to advise or treat persons concerning their social welfare.
5. The following acts or omissions of a social worker regarding supersession, shall be deemed to constitute unprofessional or improper conduct:
(1) The acceptance of the client of a colleague unless -
(a) the said colleague is not available and the required services cannot be kept in abeyance , or
(b) the colleague consents thereto or refuse his consent, or
(c) the colleague’s services have been terminated by the client without encouragement from the social worker: provided that the mere explanation to a prospective client that the services may not be rendered to him unless until he has terminated the services of the colleague shall not be regarded as encouragement.
2. The fact that a social worker has previously also been involved in the management of the case of colleague’s client shall not detract from the provisions of subrule (1).
BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS COLLEAGUES AND OTHER PROFESSIONAL PERSONS
6. The following acts or omissions of a social worker regarding behaviour towards colleagues and other professional persons, shall be deemed to constitute unprofessional or improper conduct:
(1) Direct or indirect criticism on the work of a colleague, or a professional person he has dealt with in the execution of his duties as a social worker, except in so far as it may be required for the proper execution of his duties, or in so far as it may be legally required from him.
(2) The casting of reflections directly or indirectly upon the probity, professional reputation, skill, competence, knowledge or qualification of a colleague or of such other professional person.
BEHAVIOUR TOWARDS EMPLOYERS AND PARTNERS
7. The following acts or omissions of a social worker regarding behaviour towards employers and partners, shall be deemed to constitute unprofessional or improper conduct:
(1) The breach of his contract of service, or behaviour that would justify his summary dismissal at common law;
(2) Practicing or carrying on from his offices any business, trade, work or profession apart from the social work profession, without the prior written consent of the council or contrary to a condition, if any, which such consent is subject to.
(3) Practicing in partnership with a person who is not registered in terms of the Act, or sharing his office with such a person, except with the prior written consent of the council, and subject to such conditions as the council may determine.
8. The advertising of his services by a social worker contrary to the following requirements shall be deemed to constitute unprofessional or improper conduct:
(1) No advertisement may contain or imply any comparison between the services, knowledge, skills or the efficiency of the advertising social worker and the services, knowledge, skills or efficiency of a colleague, any other professional person, or a welfare body.
(2) No advertisement may contain any element of promotion of the person of the social worker, the quality of the services which he renders, his skills or his efficiency.
DISPLAY OF CERTIFICATE
(9) The omissions of a social worker who practices such a profession to display conspicuously in his office the registration certificate issued to him in terms of the Act shall be deemed to constitute unprofessional or improper conduct.
SOCIAL AUXILIARY WORKERS AND STUDENT SOCIAL WORKERS.
(10) The same rules shall mutatis mutandis apply to social auxiliary workers and student social workers.
11. Government Notices R. 164 of 12 February 1988, R.1641 of 12 August 1988, R.950 of 3 May 1991 and R.2713 of 15 November 1991 are hereby repealed.
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