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Collaboration in Action: Improving Social Work Training and Standards in Sri Lanka

We’re thrilled to announce our new partnership with Social Service Workforce Alliance and the Institute for Participatory Interaction in Development (IPID) to support UNICEF Sri Lanka in professionalising and strengthening the national social work workforce. 


In November, our team of Alex Krueger, Vimala Crispin, and Angie Bamgbose facilitated a week-long series of inception meetings in Sri Lanka. We connected with key stakeholders to share the proposed approach, gather feedback, and secure alignment on project processes.


The project advances an existing roadmap developed by the National Institute of Social Development (NISD) to standardise social work training, accreditation, and career structures. Stakeholders emphasised the urgency of moving ahead with this roadmap. The meetings also offered an opportunity for academics focused on social work education from different universities to come together, share experiences and offer recommendations.


Child Frontiers has led similar projects in Malaysia and other countries which have generated significant learning and valuable experience. The Sri Lankan context is unique given the historical legacy and understanding of social work.  


The in-person investment helped establish vital relationships and build knowledge of the local context needed to drive success. We’re grateful for the insights shared by UNICEF’s team, experts from NISD, academics, government agencies, NGOs, and frontline social workers.


We look forward to collaborating with our skilled national partner IPID and experts Professor Tudor Silva and Mrs. Darshini Samaranayake. Together we'll facilitate this process and adapt best practices to fit the local culture, language, and diversity.


Child Frontiers’ team member Vimala summed up the productive week: “There is strong political will to professionalise and strengthen the national social work workforce in Sri Lanka. Stakeholders are eager for this process to succeed and it is positive to see this important initiative get underway.

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