Minister’s Call to Strengthen Social Work Practice Supported
Social Workers Registration Board Supports Minister’s Call to Strengthen Social Work Practice and Supervision
24 March 2011
Ms Toni Hocquard, Chairperson of the Social Workers Registration Board is pleased to support the Minister for Social Development, Paula Bennett, in her quest for better outcomes for families and children through strengthening social work practice and supervision.
Ms Bennett today announced changes to Family Start funding including new outcomes and ways to measure them, an increased focus on child abuse detection/prevention, making sure it is reaching families who need it most as well as implementation of a new team of specialist technical advisors.
The new programme standards and guidelines are to be introduced in stages over two years to allow providers time to refocus their programme delivery.
“Ensuring competent social work practice and professional supervision are core components of social worker registration in New Zealand” says Ms Hocquard.
“The Board is becoming increasingly concerned about the number of unqualified people currently offering social work services to vulnerable children and their families. Many of these individuals are not registered social workers and although well meaning they are not able to be held accountable for their actions and potentially undermine the reputation of the many qualified and competent Registered Social Workers practising in New Zealand” said Ms Hocquard.
“The Board has created a framework for the registration of social workers that has been accepted by the majority of the profession but the time has come for the issue of mandatory registration of social workers to be discussed.”
The Board has just this week released a discussion document on whether the current voluntary registration under the Social Workers Registration Act 2003 is meeting the purpose of protecting the public by ensuring that social workers are competent and accountable for the way in which they practise.
The consultation document is available on the Board’s website www.swrb.govt.nz and will soon be sent out to a variety of social service organisations and consumer groups for feedback.
“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 to practise and are held accountable for the way in which they practise by an independent Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal” said Ms Hocquard.