Social workers perceptions


SIDC association was selected for the 2016 American University of Beirut’s KIP project which is funded by USAID, for the research award application entitled “Social Workers’ Perceptions and Attitudes towards the LGBT Community in the Lebanese Context: An Exploratory Study”

Panel A started on 31th March 2017: A close-up on stigma and healthcare in Lebanon (Maamari Auditorium, Olayan School Business)

SIDC decided to implement this research for the following reasons:

  • The social environment in the Lebanese context which has unfavorable influences on LGBT individuals’ access to health and social services.
  • Lack of academic preparation of social workers to work and serve this population.

The research aimed to explore the perceptions, attitudes and competence of social workers who are the front line professionals intervening with the beneficiaries through:

  • Understanding how social workers perceive the LGBT community
  • Understanding social workers’ attitudes towards the LGBT community
  • Identifying the competencies that social workers are equipped with to support and serve individuals of this community

A list of recommendations were identified among which are to:

  • Encourage the social work department or schools to revise the curriculum and integrate topics related to sexual minorities, and to organize seminars or workshops that address Human Rights including those of sexual minorities as a vulnerable group. In addition, it is recommended to hold workshops for teachers and instructors that address self- awareness on different sensitive topics including sexual minorities
  • Encourage the higher level management at universities to highlight the importance of accepting differences and respecting others during different occasions and events
  • Advocate for issuing a law to regulate the social work profession in order to protect social workers and their clients from any violations to Human Rights
  • Reinforce social workers’ interventions through the integration of topics related to sexual minorities into the action plan of the scientific committee of the Social Workers’ Syndicate in Lebanon
  • Plan and implement periodical campaigns (in partnership with MoPH & MOSA) to combat stigma and discrimination in order to influence public beliefs and attitudes towards respecting Human Rights irrespective of the differences
  • Advocate for the elimination of Article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code (CSOs)