Vietnam now records a network of 432 social work centres that employ 35,000 workers, targeting mainly the labour, invalids and social affairs sector and offering test services in education and health care.

The operations fall under the centres’ scope and the number of social workers is small since those in need include 9 million senior citizens, 6.7 million people with disabilities, 1.5 million disadvantaged children, hundreds of thousands of HIV/AIDS victims and prostitutes, and around 9.6 percent of poor households.

These facts were provided by General Director of Social Protection Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) Nguyen Van Hoi at an international workshop in Hanoi on November 10.

To improve the situation, attendees suggested fine-tuning legal regulations and setting up a code of ethics and standards for social workers which are already applied in many countries.

Beyond that, they called on individuals and organisations at home and abroad to fund and develop social work.

The Prime Minister approved a project on the development of social work, called Project 32, in 2010.

The workshop was co-hosted by the MoLISA, the Association of Vocational Training and Social Work and the United Nations Children’s Fund.-VNA