Mandatory Social Worker Registration Bill
The ANZASW President, Shannon Pakura, is delighted that the Social Workers Registration Legislation Bill has successfully passed First Reading today and has been referred to Social Services Select Committee.
The Bill introduces protection of the title “social worker” which is commended. The Bill however focuses on the title of social work rather than the practice of social work.
ANZASW is concerned that the requirement to register and hold an Annual Practicing Certificate will only apply to social workers who are explicitly employed or contracted using the words “social worker”, call themselves a social worker or who undertake restricted tasks (tasks required by Statute to be undertaken by a social worker).
A person with a social work qualification employed in a role with a title such as Family Advocate and who do not call themselves a social worker and do not undertake ‘restricted tasks’ will not be required to either hold an Annual Practicing Certificate or be registered.
There are hundreds of role titles that are not called social worker where the skills and knowledge gained by completing a social work qualification are essential for the role. People in these roles are practicing social work; they are working with vulnerable people who are entitled to be protected from incompetent, reckless or dishonest practice which is not available under the provisions of this Bill.
ANZASW looks forward to discussing the strengths and concerns of the Bill at the Select Committee.