Many employer organisations have implemented Employee Health and Wellness Programmes as a result of the increasing recognition that the well-being and health of employees have a direct influence on the overall performance of the employer. Due to this, Employee Assistance Programmes and Occupational Social Work have had a definite existence and impact in the work community. The health and wellness services made available to employees are commonly provided by employee assistance practitioners or occupational social workers. However, there seems to be perplexities surrounding these two fields on how they may be similar or how they may be distinct from one another. The study that was pursued was in response to the suspected gap in research and practice in comparing Occupational social Work and Employee Assistance programmes.
The goal of the study was to explore and compare the literature and practice of Employee Assistance Programmes and Occupational Social Work. The study pursued to review literature of both the fields and thereafter, pursued a qualitative approach with the exploratory and explanatory methodology to obtain the realities of Employee Assistance Programmes and Occupational Social Work practice in the Gauteng province. The main selection criteria for participations in the study was valid memberships with the Employee Assistance Professional Association of South Africa (EAPA-SA) and the South African Occupational Social Workers Association (SAOSWA) and could be of any race, gender or age. Eleven participants partook in email interviews. An interview schedule was used to provide the researcher with a set of pre-determined questions which served as an instrument to engage the participants. The completed interviews presented information based on the anticipated themes; Theme one: Qualifications and Requirements of for practice; Theme two: Core technologies and functions; Theme three: Client systems; Theme four: Service delivery and Practice models and theme five: scope of practice.
Subsequently, the conclusions that were obtained from the findings were that the respective fields were very similar based on the functions, client systems as well as the requirements for practice. The requirements for practice did also have differences based on the specific criteria of qualifications and memberships with the associations. The service delivery models presented uniqueness in each field whereby OSW focused on the types of interventions and yet EAPs focused on where services would be located. The scope of practice in each of the fields did have similar elements and yet possessed differences based on the extent that they could provide services as well as ethical guidelines provided each of the fields. Several recommendations were made in efforts to prove importance of each of the fields in respect of their similarities and differences.
Mini Dissertation (MSocSci)--University of Pretoria, 2018.