The Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi has confirmed that it will continue to accept the license applications of social care professionals within the specified grace period in an effort to validate their working status. The grace period has been set to allow concerned individuals to complete all the required documents and procedures. Starting September 2, 2021, administrative penalties will be applied against unlicensed social care practitioners in Abu Dhabi.
Mubarak Salem Al Ameri, Acting Executive Director of Licensing and Social Control Sector, DCD, said: “The Department urges all professionals to expedite the submission of their applications and legalize their working status now. The licensing process includes different stages that may take three months or more to complete, depending on the needed requirements to be fulfilled based on the type of social care activities they practice. This move will ensure that only licensed social care professionals are providing services to the Abu Dhabi community based on the highest global quality standards.”
Al Ameri noted that all applications are evaluated according to the DCD’s approved licensing procedures for both permanent and temporary licenses. The procedures may include proficiency tests, verification of the submitted documents and other requirements mentioned in the Regulations and Procedures Manual. The social care professionals also have to meet education and expertise criteria published on the Department’s official website. He added that the license is valid for two years starting from the date of its issuance and is renewable for a similar period subject to license renewal and continuing professional education (CPE) requirements.
“Allowing social care professionals to reconcile their working status is in line with the DCD’s relentless efforts to improve the quality of social services in Abu Dhabi. It also ensures that all segments of society receive the best social services that meet their needs and aspirations and are offered by qualified and licensed professionals. This step is also part of its role to organize the social sector in Abu Dhabi and enforce the set policies, laws and strategies that aim to enhance the standard of living and quality of life in the emirate,” he stated.
In 2020, the DCD launched the ‘Social Care Professionals’ licensing service in Abu Dhabi. The service is available through the Abu Dhabi Government Services Ecosystem ‘TAMM,’ which enables social service providers to obtain the required licenses to practice their profession in the emirate. Five social care professions are covered by the license, namely psychologists (non-clinical), applied behaviour analysts (ABAs), psychotherapists, social workers and counsellors.
The Department called on all its partners in the government and social sectors to urge social care providers in Abu Dhabi to start applying for licenses. Among these partners are the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO), Family Development Foundation (FDF), Dar Zayed for Family Care (DZFC), Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority (SSA), Social Care and Minors Affairs Foundation (SCMAF), Zayed House for Islamic Culture (ZHIC), and Ewa’a Shelters for Victims of Human Trafficking, in addition to government entities such as Abu Dhabi Police and Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD).
To learn more about the application process, all concerned parties are urged to visit the ‘Social Care Professional’ licensing page of the DCD website at https://addcd.gov.ae/ar-AE/Social-Care-Licensing.