KUALA LUMPUR: The newly-formed Child Development Department will be fully independent from the Social Welfare Department by 2026, says Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
The Women, Family and Community Development Minister said this would involve a total of 965 new personnel being recruited in phases till then.
“Those recruited this year will only begin work in 2024. Following this, we have to budget (expenses) again for subsequent years, which includes having offices for the department nationwide.
“The independence of the Child Development Department can be expected by 2026 with a total of 965 recruits,” she told a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday (Sept 19).
According to the Child Development Department fact sheet, some 448 contract employees will be recruited in the preliminary phase (2022-2023), 169 in 2024 during its first phase, and 348 in 2025 and 2026.
Nancy said the ministry was also considering the certification and training of caregivers for the elderly, disabled and children.
“We are heading towards an ageing society and people think only the elderly need skilled caregivers, but the disabled need them too.
“Now, we want caregivers for these groups, as well as for children, to undergo training.
“We intend to use the Malaysian Social Institute for this and group together aspiring caregivers to tackle the issue of a lack of these workers in the country,” she said.
It will also be proposed for the certification and training to be mandatory, Nancy added.
“It will come under the ministry and they will be given a diploma. This is still in the works, as we have just applied for this in the coming Federal Budget,” she said.
On Monday (Sept 18), Nancy said the Child Development Department had replaced the Children’s Section under the Social Welfare Department with effect from Sept 1.
The department was announced under Budget 2023 by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on Feb 24.
Separately, Nancy said there are no plans to have a dedicated department for senior citizens as of yet.
She said the prerogative on whether such a department would be set up fell under the purview of the Economy Ministry.
“About the ageing society, it comes under the Economy Ministry, and we don’t know what its plans are.
“It’s best to ask the Minister (Rafizi Ramli),” she added when asked if there would be a specific department for senior citizens following the inception of the Child Development Department under the Social Welfare Department.
Previously, elderly groups had called for a specific ministry or department for seniors.
In July last year, the Statistics Department said Malaysia will become an ageing nation by 2030, where the percentage of people aged 60 and above will reach 15.3% of the total population.