Profile of Brenda Dick – award recipient for the social affairs sector

‘Working with families and children can be very rewarding in the long run’

A dedicated, mature, hardworking and proactive professional with a proven track record in social work, Brenda Dick portrays herself as being calm, patient, attentive and respectful, qualities that have gained her the ability to get along quickly with other work colleagues.

She is the proud parent of two grown-up children and three adorable grandchildren to whom she gives a lot of love and attention.

Ms Dick, a social worker who hails from the Port Glaud district, completed a Diploma in Social Work in 2010 and has been in the profession for the past 37 years, working with families in several districts on Mahé. This experience has helped her develop a particular love for young children, especially the most vulnerable ones, who she feels need much attention and care and should not be left behind.

As part of her job as a social worker, she has developed professionally through workshops. She values the training sessions with parents and other partners from agencies working with children. In her job, teamwork is vital because Ms Dick confronts complex problems that require the collaboration and assistance of other partners. Hence, establishing and maintaining strong working partnerships is crucial to achieving beneficial and long-lasting results.

When Ms Dick looks back on her long and rewarding career, she has this to say: “Many aspects of my work with different clients have helped me not only professionally but in my personal and social life.”

Reflecting on the many rough going situations she has faced within her duties, her main challenge has been reaching a workable solution when she engages with difficult and uncooperative clients. However, with her positive outlook, she takes everything in her stride, and in the end, she is always able to build a good rapport that facilitates service delivery. She regards this as one of her main achievements.

Ms Dick maintains that there are difficulties in every job, but working with families and children can be very rewarding in the long run. She discovered this, especially when she started her own family, as the experience gained has helped her become a more knowledgeable and assertive parent.

Her advice to colleagues in the profession is to strive to be proactive role models for the youth, be good listeners, and possess a high degree of observation capability to be able to pick up the warning signs when things are not working and react accordingly.

Her vision for ECCE is more services that address children’s needs, better equipped day care services with more qualified personnel and an increase in specialised health professionals so that all young children can get a strong start in life.

She affirms, “ECCE is on the right track working for the protection and well-being of children, but there is still more to do.”

Ms Dick, who does not have any particular hobby, prefers to stay at home and spend time with her family while relaxing with some soft music.