Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, has expressed concern over claims that some social welfare officials, working in local governments, entertain corruption when carrying out their duties.
Minister Mwalimu raised concern in Moshi, Kilimanjaro Region on Wednesday, when opening this year's International Conference of Social Work and Social Development Symposium.
The symposium was organised by the Tanzania Association of Social Workers (TASWO). "There are some social welfare officials who engage in corruption, misusing the power bestowed upon them to serve 'wananchi', something which tarnishes the good reputation of the social welfare profession, which is very important in the community," she said.
Giving an example, Ms Mwalimu said that in cases related to the fate of children, there were claims that some of the social welfare officials do take bribes and later on give decisions in favour of those who provide them with cash. "In ill decisions concerning such cases, there are social welfare officers who are being fingered and they later on make decisions in favour of those with financial acumen," she said.
She added, "In such ill decisions concerning such cases, you find a young child being taken by the one who won the case, most of them being men, who later on send the child to be looked after by the child's grandparents, the future of such children obviously won't be good."
She advised the leaders of the Tanzania Association of Social Workers (TASWO) to use the forum to restore the good image of social welfare cadres, including that of introducing the social workers registration board, something which she said would make it easier to monitor social welfare workers.
"Your profession is very important in the community and to our nation which is in the direction of becoming a middle economy through industrialisation come year 2025; we cannot achieve that goal without having a workforce which has a strong and healthy people," she said.