Making a Complaint

ANZASW can investigate complaints only about its members. However, complaints about Members who are Registered Social Workers will be directed to the Social Work Registration Board in the first instance.

Complaints regarding the social work practice of individual members of ANZASW can be investigated. Complaints about non-members of the Association cannot be investigated.

Complaints against a Registered Social Worker please go to

To find out if a social worker is registered search the public register

Generally, ANZASW will not investigate a complaint while another investigation into the same matter (say, The Health and Disability Commissioner) is underway. In such cases, ANZASW will notify its interest in the investigation and await its outcome before determining how to respond.

Complaints may be made in writing to the Chief Executive, stating times, dates and issues. Alternatively, a complaint may be discussed with the Chief Executive by telephone, in which case the Chief Exceutive will record the details and ask the complainant to sign these as an accurate record of the complaint. All relevant correspondence will be shared with the Member about whom the complaint is made once the Association’s complaint procedures are activated.

The Association has appointed a Complaints Covenor who is independent of the Chief Executive in administering the complaint resolution procedures. The Convenor has a range of resolution options available, from mediation and informal, culturally specific, resolution opportunities, through to formal Disciplinary procedures. Complainants are consulted about the means of resolution that best fits their view of the matter and Member’s have a duty to cooperate with the Convenor in all reasonable attempts to achieve the earliest possible resolution of the complaint.

Disciplinary Hearings, presided over by a High Court Barrister as the sole decision-maker, have the right to apply sanctions where complaints against members are upheld. Under ANZASW rules, serious breaches of the Code of Ethics or practice standards can lead to penalties or the termination of membership. Any decision made by the Convenor, the Chief Executive or a Disciplinary Hearing in carrying out the Association’s complaint procedures, may be appealed to the Association’s Board, which is empowered to make a final determination of the matter.

Written complaints, marked Confidential, should be addressed to the Chief Executive ANZASW National Office, PO Box 16428, Hornby, Christchurch 8441

ANZASW Complaint determination 31 July 2017 against a NFP  Agency Social Worker

ANZASW Complaint determination 3 April 2014 against a Counsellor in a Tertiary Institution Student Health Service



Decision of the Complaints Resolution Panel Hearing Panel  in relation to a social worker, Member A, December 2012


Complaints Resolution Panel Hearing in relation to a social worker, Member Z, October 2012

Decision of the ANZASW Complaints Resolution Panel in the matter of Social Worker Taotahi Pihama

ANZASW decision 29 Nov 11 (Final PUBLISHED)

Decision of the ANZASW Complaints Resolution Panel in the matter of Social Worker Ms X

[Publicly released after all parties informed on April 2010]

Determination 091109 Publication

Any further enquiries in relation to this case should be directed to Lucy Sandford-Reed, Executive Officer (

Decision of the ANZASW Complaints Resolution Panel in the matter of Jane Elizabeth Kerr

[Publicly released after all parties informed on 19 December 2008]

In May 2008 ANZASW received a complaint regarding an ex-employee of Child Youth and Family, Jane Elizabeth Kerr, who had previously worked at the CYF Nelson Site Office as a supervisor.

The complaint alleged that Ms Kerr had admitted having a sexual relationship with a 16 year old boy who was at the time in the care of CYF. Ms Kerr had subsequently resigned from CYF and voluntarily presented to the Nelson Police and admitted her behaviour.

The Association considered the complaint serious enough to suspend Ms Kerr’s membership whilst an investigation was undertaken. The provisions of the Code of Ethics that were identified as applicable in the circumstances of the case were 3.1, 3.5, 6.3, and 7.1. Ms Kerr accepted that the information provided with the complaint was accurate.

Having considered the evidence provided, the Complaints Resolution Panel found Ms Kerr guilty of Gross Professional Misconduct. Membership of ANZASW for Jane Elizabeth Kerr has therefore been revoked effective from October 3rd 2008.

Any further enquiries in relation to this case should be directed to Lucy Sandford-Reed, Executive Officer (