Remarks by Ms. Nancy Eslick, Mission Director, USAID/Cambodia, Launch of the 2021-2025 Strategic Plan for Training the Social Service Workforce

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

(as prepared for delivery)


  • His Excellency Vong Sauth, Minister, Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation
  • Representatives of the Royal Government of Cambodia
  • Ms. Foroorgh Foyouzat, Country Representative, UNICEF
  • Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen


Good morning everyone!  It is a pleasure to be here with you today. 

A well-trained social service workforce is a concrete tool that helps vulnerable children and families. USAID is proud to support the strengthening of Cambodia’s child protection system and the development of a high-caliber social service workforce.

The development and endorsement of the Strategic Plan for Training the Social Service Workforce is a huge milestone in the coordinated efforts to strengthen Cambodia’s social service workforce. The plan allows for the development of a standard, competency-based training curriculum to upskill individuals. It does this by providing the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to better ensure that quality social services are provided throughout the country. This ensures that children are in safe, nurturing, family-based care - which is our shared, ultimate goal. It is important to highlight other complementary efforts to strengthen child protection services in Cambodia.

I would like to specifically mention three. First, the endorsement of the business case for investing in the social service workforce. Second, the development of the Child Protection Law. And third, the creation of standard operating procedures for child protection services and referrals. These efforts all contribute to long-term system strengthening and provide quality services to Cambodian children and families.

Before concluding, I’d like to recognize the close collaboration that has occurred to develop this strategy. Thank you to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation and the National Institute of Social Affairs. 

Strong counterparts are key if we are to bring about the changes we want. I would also like to appreciate our implementing partners Family Care First, UNICEF, Plan International, and other development partners who support this sector. 

Continued coordination on the training and upskilling of the social service workforce is essential to avoid ad hoc and duplicative efforts. This is also essential to ensure that our efforts align with job requirements and guidelines, and ultimately better serve the Cambodian people. I hope that we can all commit to focusing on this continued coordination. We commit to work in partnership with Cambodia’s government to strengthen its workforce and its systems.

Thank you all for being here today and sharing that commitment.

Issuing Country 

Last updated: December 27, 2021

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