Perceptions of social workers regarding the employee health and wellness programme within the Gauteng department of social development Ekurhuleni regional office

Masango, Matlhodi Kgomotso
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The HIV and AIDS pandemic in South Africa was the seed for the development of the Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP),which is currently referred to as the Employee Health and Wellness Programme (EHWP)within the Public Sector. All Gauteng Provincial Government Departments (GPGD), including the Department of Social Development (DSD) employees have access to the programme. This research project specifically considers social workers as beneficiaries of the programme and it was a concern in this study as to whether the EHWP is customised in accordance to their needs. The primary purpose of this study was to explore the perceptions of social workers in the Department of Social Development, Ekurhuleni Regional Office regarding the Employee Health and Wellness Programme. A qualitative research study was conducted, using a case study design. A non-probability purposive sampling method was applied to select ten social workers and two key informants, utilising inclusion criteria. The method of data collection utilised was face-to-face interviews, with the use of a semi-structured interview guide as a research instrument to gather data. The collected data was analysed using thematic analysis to find themes and to contextualize the findings. The main findings of the research revealed that there is alack of a customised programme that considers the specific needs of social workers and a need to counteract the view that social workers feel they do not need counselling services because they see themselves as invincible. The barriers to utilisation of the EHWP included: a lack of awareness on how to access the EHWP services, the turnaround time for telephonic counselling services and cultural beliefs
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Social Work by coursework and research report in Occupational Social Work, in the Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, 2020