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Social Workers launch Code of Conduct

29 August 2005

Social Workers launch Code of Conduct

The Social Workers Registration Board's Code of Conduct was launched at 4.30pm today at the Turnbull Library in Wellington. Speakers at the launch were Robyn Corrigan Chairperson, Social Workers Registration Board; Paula Tyler, Chief Executive for Child, Youth and Family and Rae Lamb, the new Deputy Health and Disability Commissioner.

Formed in November 2003, the Social Workers Registration Board was established under the Social Workers Registration Act 2003. It is responsible for setting up the standards for registration of New Zealand and overseas-qualified Social Workers, establishing the policies and procedures for complaints and discipline, setting up the registration database, and developing a code of conduct. "The Board actively promotes the benefits of registration. We promote and encourage high standards of practice and professional conduct among registered Social Workers, and employers of Social Workers," said Robyn Corrigan.

"It was required to issue and maintain a code of conduct covering minimum standards of integrity and conduct expected of Social Workers. A code that would set standards for social work that can assist and promote the development of professionalism in the sector. We have done that, and we've also provided a benchmark for disciplinary action against which a registered social worker can be assessed," she said.

The Health and Disability Commission have also welcomed the Code of Conduct. "It is an important milestone because it sets out the minimum standards of conduct the public can expect from social workers, and it gives social workers some clear guidance on avoiding and dealing with situations which are professionally and ethically difficult," said Rae Lamb.

The Board has also established the Complaints and Discipline Tribunal. The Chair of the Tribunal will appoint Complaints Assessment Committees in consultation with the Board in relation to particular cases when required.

ENDS

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