Tanzania Para Social Worker Training Manual & Curriculum

The Tanzania Para Social Work Program represents a comprehensive workforce development model to strengthen the social welfare system in low-resource countries. The program was developed by AIHA partners at the Tanzania Institute of Social Work in Dar es Salaam and their counterparts at the University of Illinois – Chicago‘s Jane Addams College of Social Work and the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center to equip caregivers and their supervisors with critical knowledge and skills that strengthen their ability to provide care and support to vulnerable children and their families, particularly in communities most affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Para Social Work Program piloted in Tanzania has already been successfully adapted and implemented by AIHA and our partners in Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Zambia through our HIV/AIDS Twinning Center Program and through our role as sub-partners on the STEER, SMILE, and Zambia Rising projects.

AIHA and our partners who developed this program are appreciative of the care and support of the funders without whom the program would not have been possible.

The year-long training program teaches basic social work and child development skills that empower community-based workers and volunteers by improving their ability to identify, assess, engage, and link those in need to existing care and support services. Program participants are equipped with initial professional skills and with access to professional training, supervision, and ongoing support. Care providers who complete the program comprise a workforce of Para Social Workers who are helping to bridge the gap between the extent of the need and the availability of trained social workers in Tanzania.

The intent of the curriculum is to introduce Para Social Workers to the basic concepts, processes, and helping skills that underlie all interventions with children and families, thus providing a foundation for effective intervention with this population. The Para Social Work Program gives community-based workers a basic knowledge of:

  • Social work practice;
  • Human behavior and development in the social environment, especially focusing on vulnerable children and families; and
  • HIV disease including prevention, counseling and testing, treatment access and issues, and related familial, social, and community advocacy.

This training material is continually being evaluated and updated to reflect current needs and best practices therefore it should be viewed as work in progress.

Any person, organization, or institution making use of these materials must acknowledge that they were developed by the Tanzania Institute of Social Work, Jane Addams College of Social Work, and the Midwest AIDS Training and Education Center with support from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), USAID and CDC in Tanzania, and the American International Health Alliance’s HIV/AIDS Twinning Center.

Training Manual & Curriculum


Chapter 1 – Introduction

Chapter 2 –  Training Methods Overview

Chapter 3 – PSW I Overview

Chapter 4 – PSW II Overview  

Chapter 5 – PSW Supervisor Training

Chapter 6 – Evaluating Para Social Work