ANZASW statement on allegations of grooming by a social worker working with children
The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) is deeply shocked by allegations that a social worker from Oranga Tamariki, Ministry for Children, groomed a teenager for sex.
If these claims are proven to be true it would amount to a betrayal of everything that social workers stand for. As a profession we seek to protect children / Tamariki from all forms of abuse and to promote well-being; social workers will always stand with the victims of abuse.
Abuse of children by anyone in any circumstance is appalling; especially so when the offender is from a profession such as ours which follows both a code of ethics and code of conduct requiring practitioners to hold themselves to the highest professional standards.
ANZASW has an expectation that all Oranga Tamariki social workers are registered with the Social Workers Registration Board. If the social worker in this case is registered and the allegations are upheld in Court, the Social Workers Registration Board will be able to hold the social worker to account.
The Association believes that mandatory registration for all social workers is essential to ensure accountability and confidence in the profession. We are confident that the Social Worker Registration Legislation Bill will provide these protections and look forward to it becoming law in due course.
We are pleased to see that Oranga Tamariki is conducting an internal review which will assess if any other alleged cases of grooming or abuse by this person occurred. Oranga Tamariki has publicly indicated that they are working to ensure that the young person and their family are getting the support they need and ANZASW commends them for this.