Become a member
Join the South African Association for social workers in Private Practice
Benefits of Joining SAASWIPP
Whilst private practice offers social workers several benefits such as flexible working hours and the opportunity to specialise in a particular field of interest, it can be lonely and isolating. SAASWIPP is a voluntary professional association which offers members the following benefits:
Networking & Support
- An opportunity to interact and network with colleagues who share your professional interests and concerns.
- Orientation workshops on how to run a private practice.
- Regular newsletters and email updates to members.
- Mentoring, consultation and peer supervision through SAASWIPP support groups and access to service supervision from senior colleagues.
- SAASWIPP endeavours to link members to individuals or bodies which can offer support in relation to specific ethical queries or difficulties.
Professional Development opportunities
- Access to CPD accredited training workshops.
- Information about training and development opportunities advertised on the SAASWIPP website or through the SAASWIPP data base.
- Access to group discounted Indemnity insurance.
- Reminders and updates on administrative issues such as BHF registration, PAIA compliance and the like.
- FIVE FREE SMS’s A DAY available to SAASWIPP members on the secure section of this website.
Advocacy and Liaison
- SAASWIPP lobbies government and other stakeholders to represent the interests of social workers in private practice.
- Our organisation liaises with medical aids to keep up to date with developments in the medical aid field and where possible to improve medical aid coverage for social work services.
- Our Council Liaison team keeps in contact with the Professional Board of Social Workers to represent the interests of private practitioners.
- We lobby for the recognition of specialisations in Clinical, Forensic and Social Work in Health Social Work.
Marketing and Publicity
- Listing on the Find a Social Worker section of the SAASWIPP website.
- Access to the SAASWIPP database to market your own groups, workshops and training programmes at membership rates.
- To receive notice of advertised CPD training via our website database, provided by SAASWIPP, by members or other service providers.
Benefit of the professional profile created by our association.
Criteria: SAASWIPP seeks to promote and ensure high ethical and professional standards of practice amongst our members.
Private practitioners do not have the backing of an organisation or agency to oversee their professional decision-making or to regulate the quality of their services. We are clear that whilst post graduate academic qualifications can improve practice, these are not a substitute for good practice experience. For this reason, we restrict our membership to practitioners who have five years supervised social work practice.
When we ask for proof of supervised practice, we are looking for evidence that the applicant has received ongoing supervision in the field in which he or she plans to practice.
The NEB and Membership Committee have the authority to consider special cases of applicants who do not meet these formal criteria.
The annual membership fee for 2020 is R875. There is an additional administrative fee of R340 for members joining the organisation for the first time and a lapsed member fee of R350 for existing members who miss the March deadline for registration. These fees are reviewed on an annual basis.
Considering private practice?
There are several advantages of entering private practice. These include:
- Flexible working hours.
- The opportunity to focus on direct service delivery without being bogged down in administration and organisational issues.
- The opportunity to specialise in particular areas of practice which inspire you.
However, the decision to enter private practice should not be taken lightly and the following challenges should be considered:
- You earn on an hourly basis for services rendered. There is no paid sick leave or holiday leave. Whilst private practitioners may earn more per hours of work than colleagues in agency or government jobs, their administrative time is unpaid and times when there are no clients are not remunerated.
- There are no benefits such as subsidised medical aid or pension. If you want these you will have to pay from your own pocket.
- Attracting clients, particularly in the context of a depressed economy is challenging. Social workers in private practice compete with their social work colleagues, psychologists and coaches for a slice of a shrinking market.
- There are overhead costs to running a practice. These may include professional registration fees, office rental, book-keeping or accounting services, CPD training, supervision, telephone, internet and computer costs, travel and marketing costs. Most of these are, of course, tax deductible.
SAASWIPP is a voluntary professional association of social workers in private practice. Our members are experienced qualified social workers, registered with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP).
SAASWIPP believes in the value of the Social Work profession and in the valuable contribution made by social workers in private practice to mental health, psychosocial well-being, welfare and development in South Africa.