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PSA Welcomes Social Worker Registration Bill

"The PSA welcomes the introduction of social worker registration, which is long overdue in this country," says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

"Registration will provide a benchmark for the public to assure themselves that a social worker has reached a standard of competence to do the job. It will also make sure that social workers maintain that level of competence and are practising safely," said Mr Wagstaff.

"While the bill does not call for compulsory registration we think social workers carrying out high risk, high responsibility tasks such as Child Youth and Family social workers should be registered. We expect the Government to lead by example. However, currently less than half of CYFS front line social workers have formal social work qualifications, so to get them ready for registration will take some time and a lot of resources. Therefore we welcome the five-year provisional registration period set out in the Bill," Mr Wagstaff said.

"However, registration should not be seen as some magic panacea for stretched social workers. It will not solve the problems of unmanageable caseloads, vacant positions, burn out, and low moral. Registration is a welcome first step to improving the status of the profession but on its own will not be enough," he said.

"The PSA supports quality services and is right behind improving professional standards for social workers. As the union representing social workers in the public service, health sector and local government the PSA expects to be involved in the development of standards for registration and to be represented on the registration board," said Mr Wagstaff.


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