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SWRB response to unregistered social worker sexual charges

SWRB response to unregistered social worker charged with unlawful sexual connection

The Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB), has become aware through media reports that an unregistered female ‘social worker’ previously employed at Auckland's Waipareira Trust is on trial charged with unlawful sexual connection with a 15-year-old boy in her care. She also apparently faces two further charges of alleged deception through making representations of educational qualifications not held and making a false academic transcript with intent to gain employment.

As the matter involves an unregistered ‘social worker’ the Social Workers Registration Board is unable to comment specifically about this alleged offence. The Board has no jurisdiction over unregistered social workers. As the law stands anyone in New Zealand can call themselves a social worker.

Social Worker Registration in New Zealand is currently voluntary and the Social Workers Registration Board has called for registration to become mandatory. Every applicant for registration as a social worker is required to complete a full police check that includes an exemption under the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004 and is required to adhere to the Social Workers Registration Board Code of Conduct.

“It is the Social Workers Registration Board’s aim that all social workers in New Zealand should be registered to protect the safety of vulnerable members of the public by ensuring that social workers are competent and fit to practise and are held accountable for the way in which they practise by the Social Workers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal” said the Chair of the Board Mr Shayne Walker.

“Social workers from all social service organisations should be registered. This will ensure that social workers meet minimum criteria, are professionally supervised, engage in ongoing professional development and adhere to the national Code of Conduct for all social workers.”

The Social Workers Registration Board contact details can be found in the blue pages of all telephone books or can be contacted via freephone 0508 797269 or their website www.swrb.govt.nz or email office@swrb.govt.nz

ENDS

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