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Data on Number and Percentage of Social Workers Who Applied for Sabbatical Leave Scheme in Past Five Years

Type: Parliamentary Questions

Topic(s): Social Service Agencies & Partners, Social Service Professionals


Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) for each year in the past five years, what is the number and percentage of social workers who apply for the Sabbatical Leave Scheme; and (b) if such data is not being collected, whether the Ministry will start collecting it.

Answer

1. The Sabbatical Leave Scheme (SLS) is one of several initiatives that the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) have put in place to support in-sector social service professionals.

2. The SLS is available to Social Workers, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Speech Therapists, Psychologists, Counsellors and Teachers in the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) with at least five years of direct work experience in their respective professional fields in the sector. It offers up to $45,000 in support, comprising up to 10 weeks of paid leave for seasoned professionals to recharge themselves, and a Professional Advancement Sponsorship to refresh their professional competencies.

3. From April 2016 to March 2021, 136 social service professionals have benefited from the SLS, of which around 80% were Social Workers. The breakdown of SLS awardees per annum is in Table 1. As at 31 December 2020, there were 1,622 Social Workers registered with the Social Work Accreditation and Advisory Board.

Table 1 Number of Sabbatical Leave Scheme Awardees and Percentage of Social Worker Awardees, April 2016 – March 2021

 

FY2016

FY2017

FY2018

FY2019

FY2020

Number of SLS awardees

25

30

34

31

16

Number of Social Worker awardees

15

24

30

28

13

Percentage of Social Worker awardees

60%

80%

88%

90%

81%