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Professionalisation of social workers continues

Professionalisation of social workers continues

12 March 2008

Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson today congratulated social workers on their progress in getting registered.

As of January 2008, there are 1,558 social workers with current registrations listed by the Social Worker Registration Board. Of these, 829 are social workers employed by Child Youth and Family and a further 252 CYF social workers are in the process of applying for registration.

"Today at Select Committee, the Social Worker Registration Board said that 70 percent of CYF social workers are either registered or going through the registration process and that this was a huge shift from last year," said Ruth Dyson.

"We want to increase the number of registered social workers supporting children and their families in New Zealand. The work they do is invaluable to the future of our children and our communities."

"Many people don't realise that social workers can choose to work in a wide range of areas," said Ruth Dyson.

"Child, Youth and Family social workers are faced with many difficult situations, often involving family violence, substance abuse, anger and mental health issues. They make critical decisions under rigid time pressures working under the Children, Young Persons and their Families Act.

"In spite of growing numbers of notifications and unprecedented demand for their services, their productivity has improved and the number of unallocated cases has fallen dramatically. I congratulate social workers for helping many families and turning around so many young lives."

The government is continuing to work with the Social Workers Registration Board to develop some of the recommendations set out in the review of the Social Workers Registration Act which was conducted last year.

A social workers' code of conduct is in place to ensure that registered social workers are accountable for their work, and people dealing with a registered social worker have a clear complaints process to follow if they are unhappy with their services.

ENDS

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