Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

ANZASW Response to Report on Registration Legislation Bill

ANZASW Response to the Social Services Select Committee’s Report on the Social Work Registration Legislation Bill:

The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) is dismayed that the Social Services Select Committee have chosen to ignore calls to make appropriate changes to the Social Work Registration Legislation Bill.

The section requires only those people employed in positions described using the words ‘social worker’ or “social work” to be registered, a state of affairs which means that employers get to determine which social workers are to be held professionally accountable for their work or not.

Over 50% of ANZASW members with a social work qualification are employed in roles not described as social worker or social work. Many of these positions are funded by MSD, Oranga Tamariki Ministry of Health and District Health Boards; a fact that clearly indicates that people accessing these social work services are at a vulnerable point in their lives.

A majority of submissions to the Select Committee called for section 6AAB of the bill to be amended.

More than 80% of submissions to the select committee called on them to replace this role title approach to registration with one based on a scope of practice model that would oblige all those who are practising social work in deed, not title, to register.

The decision to ignore these submissions represents perhaps the most damaging assault on the social work profession in decades. It is all the more galling because the Select Committee has chosen to disregard the views of a majority of voices from the sector itself, while having no representation from the sector within the Committee.

It is totally unacceptable that the Select Committee profess to know more about what the Sector needs than professionals in the Sector themselves.

As a result of the Select Committee’s decision, the bill singularly fails to protect the public from the threat of dangerous or incompetent social work practice, despite the stated claim in the bill that its core purpose is to do just this.

Furthermore, by effectively leaving a large number of social workers unregulated, this bill ignores the problems posed by the power dynamics between practitioners and people using social work services. People using social work services are often extremely vulnerable people who need to know that those assisting them are fully accountable for their practice. By depriving service users of this assurance, they are placed in a position of disempowerment in relation to their caregivers.

This state of affairs risks a crisis of public confidence in the profession, which is already burdened with heavy case loads and inadequate funding. The effect on morale is also likely to be highly damaging.

The aspiration of Social Workers is to be recognised and valued for the work they do. By ignoring calls for a scope of practice approach to registration, the Select Committee is also ignoring the express wishes of the profession and many of the organisations that employ social workers.

It is totally unacceptable that the Select Committee has chosen to effectively single out social work as a profession that does not require universal mandatory registration, unlike doctors, nurses, psychiatrists and teachers, all of which have a defined scope of practice which guides the way these professions are regulated. This inconsistency is an affront to social work.

The Select Committee’s finding, as stated in its report, that “defining “social work” in a scope of practice would be difficult” is hard to take seriously. A global definition of social work, adopted in 2014, was developed by the global social work community. The Social Work Registration Board have produced a “Social Work – General Scope of Practice and a Definition of the Practice of Social Work. These documents were developed following consultation with the Sector in anticipation of mandatory registration of all social workers not just those employed in roles described using the words social worker or social work.

ANZASW is extremely concerned at the long-term damage the Select Committee’s decision will have across the profession and for people using social work services.

Given the inadequacy of the bill in its current form the Association feels it has no choice but to call on Members of Parliament to vote down the legislation on the basis that the existing Social Workers Registration Act 2003 provides better protection for service users than what is being proposed under the current bill.
[ENDS]

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Why Raising Corporate Taxes Has Become A Hot New Political Cause

Surprisingly, “raising taxes” has become a very fashionable political idea in 2021. That’s right. After decades of being seen (at best) as a necessary evil, higher corporate taxes are now being treated as the Great Good Thing that will revive the US economy, re-distribute wealth productively, help to build neglected and decaying public infrastructure, fund public health, address social inequality, restore a sense of community and generally make everyone feel better about the society in which they live... More>>

 

Government: Delivers Next Phase Of Climate Action

The Government is delivering on a key election commitment to tackle climate change, by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transition away from fossil fuels. This is the first ... More>>

Government: Independent Experts To Advise On Post-Vaccination Future

The Government is acting to ensure decisions on responding to the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic are informed by the best available scientific evidence and strategic public health advice. “New Zealand has worked towards an elimination ... More>>

Travel: Trans-Tasman Bubble To Start 19 April

New Zealand’s successful management of COVID means quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on Monday 19 April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris ... More>>

ALSO:


Health: Drug-Testing Law To Be Made Permanent

Interim legislation that is already proving to keep people safer from drugs will be made permanent, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>

World Travel: New Zealand Temporarily Suspending Travel From India - PM Jacinda Ardern

Travel into New Zealand from India - including for New Zealand citizens and residents - is being temporarily suspended because of high numbers of Covid-19 cases. More>>

Finance: Crown Accounts Again Better Than Forecast

Hon Grant Robertson Minister of Finance The economic recovery from COVID-19 continues to be reflected in the Government’s books, which are again better than expected. The Crown accounts for the eight months to the end of February 2021 showed both OBEGAL ... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels