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Minister marks World Social Work Day

Minister marks World Social Work Day

Social Development Minister Ruth Dyson today paid tribute to social workers around the country, including the more than 1,180 front line social workers at Child, Youth and Family (CYF).

“World Social Work Day is a great opportunity to recognise the work that social workers do, at a time when the workforce is moving towards greater professionalisation through a qualifications structure and social worker registration,” Ms Dyson said.

As of January 2008, there were more than 1,500 social workers with current registrations with the Social Worker Registration Board. Of these, 856 were listed as working for CYF.

“Many people don’t realise that social workers can choose to work in a wide range of areas. In Child, Youth and Family alone, the social work options are diverse, including youth justice, care and protection, adoptions, social workers in schools. This work makes a real difference to our communities.”

CYF is one of the largest employers of social workers in New Zealand and as an employer it is actively supporting staff to obtain or upgrade their qualifications. In June 2007, 1275 staff had social work qualifications at level 6 or above, a large increase from the same time in 2003 when only 810 staff had qualifications at this level.

“CYF 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 increased notifications and unprecedented demand for their services, their productivity has improved and the number of unallocated cases has fallen dramatically. This International Day is an opportunity to congratulate them, and all social workers, for their hard work in helping so many families and turning around young lives.”

New Zealand’s own Social Workers’ Day will be celebrated on 24 September.

ENDS

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