The Application of Para Social Work Training in Physically and Sexually Abused Girls Under 18 Years of Age in Tanzania: A Case Study of Temeke Municipality, Dar es Salaam Region

Leah Natujwa Omari


The article presents a case of Para Social work training which basically aim at explaining how this training is essential in providing care and support to young Girls who are physically and sexually abused in Tanzania. It attempts to explain how the victims’ families with the help of Para Social workers can be linked to much-needed services. The objective of this study was to examine the application of Para Social work training in physically and sexually abused girls in Temeke Municipal, Dar es Salaam region. The study was also set to explore possible measure used to reduce the risk of physically and sexually abuse among young girls in addition to Para Social work training in Temeke Municipal, Dar es Salaam region. A major framework of sociological theory was used. The symbolic interactionism was employed in this study to explore symbolic meanings that community members developed and used in the process of social interaction. The family members of abused girls would interpret the behaviour of the young girls and therefore form the social bond which later was used to inform the community members about the problem that they were facing. This theoretical perspective helped the Para Social worker to make sense of the life experiences of young girls’ and understand their coping strategies including the increasing capacity of Para Social workers to access resources for improving care for young girls and their families. Further the theory increased capacity to understand how Para Social workers could generate the Eight (8) Years Plan for Development which was used in protecting young girls against physical and sexual abuse within their community. The theory enlightens community volunteers and Para Social workers in planning for various interventions in violence against children in Tanzania. Further, the study confirmed that community volunteers and Para Social workers suggested on the use of National Plan of Action for their interventions especially in emerging issues that needed their attention especially in reducing the problem of violence against children in their communities. This perspective helped to capture the behaviour of young girls and how they symbolically navigate their lives. The meaning and significance of young girls and the effect of abuse enable us to capture the social reality of those who dealt with the abuse and the measurement to reduce the problem using their own perspectives. This study used qualitative approach which included in-depth Interview and Focus Group Discussion (FGD). Also purposive sampling was used whereby 50 informants were selected as a sample size of this study. The informants came from Temeke district in Dar es Salaam region.

The Findings revealed that, since the development of Para Social work trainings in 2006, most vulnerable children especially young girls have enabled Para Social workers to be fully equipped and be able to apply relevant social policies effectively. Such policies include Sexual Offences Provisional Act of 1988(SOSPA), Child Development Policy of 2008 and the Law of the Child Act number 21 of 2009. Furthermore the Para Social work training has facilitated the process of identifying young girls who is abused. Thereafter Para Social workers have helped the girls’ families to develop and implement a plan of support.

The study recommends to Para Social workers that young girls need to be understood in terms of situation and be protected from hazardous condition including physical and sexual abuse within their communities. Further the study recommends that it is important to strengthen child protection systems so that all kinds of abuse are addressed and worked on clearly in their communities. As for policy makers and law makers’ young girls have to be in their agenda for change. Para Social workers participation in this training is important as there are no enough staffs at the ward and village levels who could work for social workers. The availability of Para Social workers will facilitate linkages to available resources which are important for young girls’ growth and development. The attitude and perceptions towards using Para Social workers to help community members including the parents and other family members of young girls need to be changed for the benefit of the community members they serve.



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