Perceptions of EAP practitioners regarding the developmental social welfare approach in Gauteng Province.
The developmental social welfare approach forms part of South Africa’s approach to social development issues impacting the country as a whole, and sets out to address and effectively rectify past loopholes, gaps and service delivery issues. The approach, which has been adopted by government and seen as the underpinning premise for the White Paper for Social Welfare (RSA, Ministry for Social Welfare and Population Development, 1997) has been in place for well over 20 years. Despite this, South Africa’s unique history and diverse genetic makeup has presented leadership, practitioners and organisations aiming to implement the approach with several challenges. Many of these challenges have been addressed in various forms over the years, however a few key components such as delivery mechanisms, effective partnerships and overall ability to deliver world-class services in this sphere remain a work in progress.
More recently, the upswing in EAP service offerings being taken up by corporate South Africa has demonstrated a dire need for social services in the workplace. Not only has this need arisen from the need by corporates to engage and retain the workforce, but also to bridge the gaps that exist between the country’s citizens and access to government services which have been and remain under strain due to our socio-economic status as a whole.
With the above in mind, this study set out to understand and explore how EAP practitioners view the developmental social welfare approach and to ascertain if there are any potential opportunities and gaps for smarter partnerships to enhance the possibility of reaching the country’s goals, as set out in the White Paper for Social Welfare (RSA, Ministry for Social Welfare and Population Development, 1997).
This study, which is qualitative and -exploratory in nature, employed a case study design. Furthermore, the researcher utilised semi-structured interviews as the data collection method in an attempt to gain as much insight and detail from the sample population as possible. The study aims to understand the perceptions of EAP practitioners with reference to the developmental social welfare approach.
From a research methodology perspective, the researcher employed purposive stratified sampling. The research focused on a specific sample which had been drawn from registered EAPA-SA practitioners and professionals based in Gauteng Province, irrespective of their academic backgrounds and occupation.
Findings from the study indicated, from the onset, an unclear understanding of developmental social welfare as a key principal and approach; however, upon unpacking each theme and objective, the participants were able to engage and participate freely. This observation is key to the study as it is indicative of the work that needs to be done if South Africa is to reach its 2030 National Development Plan goals, as well as a strong indicator of the need for social welfare services to collaborate. The overarching finding which addresses the main purpose of the study suggests that many workable similarities already exist and goes on to further identify views of where EAP practitioners in Gauteng Province believe gaps or further opportunities exist.
Mini Dissertation (MScoSci (EAP))--University of Pretoria, 2018.