The Directorate Social Work Services held a four-day work session on the Sexual Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP) at Kgoši Mampuru II in the week of 31 January to 2 February. It was attended by 41 social workers from the Gauteng region. The aim of the programme is to reduce the likelihood of re-offending by teaching offenders to control a chain of behaviour that lead to sexual offences.
The new programme was developed based on scientific research done at 18 correctional centres in 2016. Director Social Work Services Dorothy Makhuza said it was necessary to review the existing sexual offender treatment programme and the department subsequently commissioned research. “The programme is designed to make an impact on sexual offenders and encourage behaviour change due to knowledge and therapy offered by social workers,” she said.
The programme deals with sexual offences in depth. The general feedback about the training was positive among the social workers, many of whom described it as an eye opener and said it gave them more confidence in facilitating and dealing with this sensitive subject. Welma De Jager, a social worker from Krugersdorp Management Area said she was glad that the department was moving towards a position of research based services. “With research and information we are able to make proper recommendations,” she said.
According to Dr Zodwa Mosoma, a Social Work Manager Programme and Design, the current sexual offender treatment programme had many gaps because it was generic and based on desktop literature research. Social workers did not have confidence in the programme and many were reluctant to implement it.
Director Makhuza said the training could not accommodate all social workers in the region because of limited funds. According to Gauteng Regional Coordinator Care Services, Mmapula Ramutla, there are 117 filled social worker posts in the region. The social workers who attended the training would be required to train others before the programme is rolled out to the rest.
“I will identify individuals from this group who will facilitate training within the region,” said Ms Ramutla. She said the training will be completed in June and will be ready to implement the programme in management areas. She said Gauteng region would monitor implementation on a monthly basis to ensure that the training is put to use.
Gauteng is the first region to receive the training on the reviewed SOTP. Directorate Social Work Services will continue training trainers in other regions according to the schedule below:
|13 -16 February 2018||Witbank Management Area||LMN Region|
|13 -16 March 2018||Grootvlei Management Area||Free State & Northern Cape Region|
|17 – 20 April 2018||St Albans Management Area||Eastern Cape Region|
|22 -25 May 2018||Pollsmoor Management Area||Western Cape Region|
|19 – 22 June 2018||Durban Management Area||KZN Region|