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SWRB: a reminder to Mr Bob McCoskrie

Social Workers Registration Board Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal

The Social Workers Registration Board would once again like to remind Mr Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, that there is an independent body to ensure that registered social workers follow appropriate policy and procedures. The Social Workers Registration Board’s Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal is an independent authority and provides services at no cost to the public.

The Social Workers Registration Board has registered almost 3000 social workers and is processing another 500 applications for registration and this number is steadily increasing.

“Social Workers need the support and encouragement from organisations such as Family First NZ for the difficult work they undertake rather than the continued brickbats they receive.” says Ms Toni Hocquard, Chair of the Social Workers Registration Board.

“Social workers from all social service organisations should be registered not just CYF social workers. 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,” say Ms Hocquard.

“If Family First is being regularly contacted by families who claim to have been unfairly treated by CYF social workers then Family First should refer those families to the Social Workers Registration Board. The Board can refer the complaint to the Tribunal if the social worker is registered. If the social worker is not registered the Board can provide alternative options to the complainants and more importantly follow up with the social worker and their employer to question why they are not registered.”

The Board has 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.

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

ENDS

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