Social Work Services


The Core function of Social Work Services is to assess the offenders and provide needs based Programmes and Services in order to enhance the adjustment, social functioning and reintegration of offenders back into the community.

Functions Performed by Social Work Services

Professional  assessment  of offenders

Provide social work services and programmes  to offenders

Assist offenders to develop coping skills

Ensure the provision of therapeutic counseling and support to offenders

Compile reports  to the Correctional Supervision and  Parole Board

Build partnership with external service providers (NGOs, CBOs, families and the community) in the rehabilitative process

Participate and represent the Department of correctional Services  in the Interdepartmental  Structures addressing issues of children, youth, women, disabled and elderly offenders

Organize awareness and information sharing campaigns in order to expand the knowledge of offenders on child protection , domestic violence, crime prevention and human rights etc

 Facilitate contact   between offenders and their families in order to build and maintain healthy family relationships thus contributing to stable families and positive lifestyles.

Inform  policy formulation through practice and contributing to professional knowledge of social work through research and paper presentations

Provide, capacity building to professionals

Embark on action based research to inform appropriate interventions

Target Groups

All categories of offenders i.e children, young offenders, male and female offenders, the elderly offenders with disabilities, probationers and parolees.

Social workers in the Department of Correctional Services are providing services at correctional facilities level as well as at the community corrections offices in all regions. The services provided by social workers are managed and coordinated at head office level

Social Work Methods

 In the provision of services social workers use basic professional methods of social work practice including casework, group work, community work research and administration. The variety of skills, techniques and processes are used in the engagements with the offenders. In the provision of services, professional social workers are required by the professional body (South African Council of Social Services Professions) to discharge their services with integrity, commitment and exercise their professional discretion to the best interest of the client/offender.

Services and Programmes Provided

A.        Services


Counseling services (offered to individual offenders)

Supportive services (offered during traumatic experiences e.g. death or living with HIV and AIDS)

Crisis intervention (basically to victims of traumatic experiences and for the awaiting trial detainees on referral)

Administrative (variety of reports required for the offenders e.g. parole board reports, reconstruction services reports etc)

B.        Programmes


Life Skills

Substance Abuse

Family and Marriage Enrichment

Anger Management

Sexual Offender Treatment Programme

Resilience Enhancement Programme (Youth Programme)

Social Workers also participate in the following programmes:

HIV and AIDS Programme

Pre-Release Programme

Policies Available

The practice of social work in DCS is informed by all applicable legislation and international standards as well as the following policies developed within: this field:

Social Work Policy

Youth Policy

Policy for offenders with Disabilities

Infants and Mothers Policy

Child offender Policy

Elderly Offender’s Policy

Requirements to work as a Social Worker in DCS

The entry level of newly appointed social workers is at level seven (7). The applicant should satisfy the following requirements to be employed in DCS:

Be in possession of a Grade 12 Certificate

Be in possession of  the relevant  Degree in Social Work

Be registered with the South African Council for Social Work Service Professions

Have a Code EB (08) driver’s license

Be proficient in English and any other indigenous language

The practice of social work within the Department of Correctional Services is regulated by the South African Council for Social Services, a legislated body established in terms of the Social Service Professions Act (110 of 1978) to ensure professional standards and ethics of the practicing social workers.

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