Social work specialists hired by the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population of Turkmenistan within the framework of the UN-Turkmenistan Joint Programme on community-based social services had an opportunity to involve in series of professional supervision and coaching sessions conducted by the team of experienced international experts. The online meetings organized by the UNICEF in close cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Turkmenistan brought together 45 specialists from 20 pilot etraps to discuss the ongoing work related to case management and needs assessment of vulnerable populations at the community level, share experiences and lessons learnt, and jointly refine strategies of support for different groups of vulnerable families.
At the end of 2020, the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of Population (MoLSP) hired a dedicated person, a coordinator of social work specialists, to coordinate the work of social work specialists in the field as the first step to the develop professional supervision practice. To introduce high quality professional supervision in social work, the coordinator joined social work specialists in acquiring theoretical and practical skills in the field.
An international company Partnership for Every Child (P4EC) contracted by the UNICEF, in their capacity of Chief Technical Advisory Group (CTAG) to the Joint Programme on community-based social services, conducted regular coaching sessions to the coordinator of social work specialists. In these sessions, they covered the guidance on needs assessment and strategies for analyzing the collected data by social work specialists. Regular monthly online meetings of social work specialists and their coordinator led by the CTAG have been established to discuss the most difficult cases arising from the individual needs’ assessments of vulnerable population groups in pilot etraps, case management tools, as well as the resource mobilization strategies and specific challenges arising from the introduction of this new profession in Turkmenistan. The sessions resulted in better understanding of inclusive and quality social services at community level and better use of case management tools such as the development of the individual support plans for the vulnerable people and their families with the focus of improving the well-being of the whole family.
Professional supervision has an important role in social work practice. It is especially decisive for Turkmen social work specialists as it is a newly emerging profession in the country. Professional supervision focuses on solving three main tasks related to the activities of professionals, namely, improving the quality of assistance provided to beneficiaries, efficient use of working time, and prevention of professional burnout.
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.
Source: UN office in Turkmenistan.