Hiring from poorer nations is ‘immoral’

Local authorities that actively recruit social workers from developing countries are “immoral”, according to a South African child care expert.

Jackie Loffell, advocacy co-ordinator at the Johannesburg Child Welfare Society, said it was “contrary to the ethos of the social work profession” for councils to exploit poor pay in developing countries by recruiting staff to fill vacancies in the UK.

She welcomed plans for a code of ethics on the international recruitment of social workers, which is being produced for councils in England by the Improvement and Development Agency.

But she said she had seen adverts in the South African press for social work positions in the UK, and had received at least one letter inviting her to apply for a job over here.

Loffell said South African social work was in crisis with staff “leaving in droves” and fewer people training in the profession.

She added: “While I believe South African social workers must be at liberty to apply for positions in other countries, it is immoral for organisations serving first world countries, and especially government structures in those countries, to actively recruit social workers here.”

The code of ethics on recruitment, which is backed by the Department of Health, could be launched at the National Children and Adult Services Conference in Brighton in October.

Additional reading
Social work ethics on trial over recruitment from developing countries

Further information
Johannesburg Child Welfare Society
National Children and Adult Services Conference

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