Reasons for Renewing your Membership of the ANZASW

“Early in my career ANZASW was a space where I got to know a lot of practitioners across a range of different fields of practice and where I was afforded opportunities to grow professionally by getting involved in Association committees and activities. Since then I have valued my membership for the continuing professional development, the access to a terrific journal and for the indemnity insurance which is a much needed back up in the contested area of social work practice and education.”

 

–     member testimony

The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) is your professional social work body in Aotearoa New Zealand, run by members for members; we understand the challenges that you face and provide services designed to empower and protect you.

These include:

Stronger Together

ANZASW operates on the premise that the social work profession is stronger together. Accordingly, solidarity is at the heart of everything we do.

For more than half a century, we have fought tirelessly for social workers interests in the public arena, establishing ourselves as the leading voice for the profession in Aotearoa New Zealand, as well as the largest and most effective movement for social justice within the sector.

We appeal to our members to stand with us as we continue to promote human rights, social justice- and the profile of the social work profession itself. 

Voice of, and for, the Profession

“Thank you for your contribution and work representing the voice for social workers”- member feedback

Members want the Association to be active in promoting the profession and advocating for social justice issues. We have therefore developed our advocacy capacity, expanding our ability to act as a principled, independent and effective voice in the public arena.

In 2018 we appeared before the Social Services and Community Select Committee to discuss the Social Workers Registration Bill and the Child Poverty Reduction Bill. The Social Workers Registration Legislation Act became law 28 February 2019 with mandatory registration of social workers taking effect from 28 February 2019, with registration being based on scope of practice and prescribed qualifications rather than job title as was proposed in the initial Bill. ANZASW and the Social Work Alliance worked collaboratively with the Minister, her officials and MSD to achieve this significant change to the Bill.

Over the course of 2018 ANZASW made submissions on a number of issues and were part of discussion / consultation sessions on key issues such as the Issues and Opportunities in Social Work Education. Members are invited to contribute to these activities.

Partnership

ANZASW is guided by the Te Tiriti o Waitangi in applying these core principles in our work. We foster collaboration between members and seek to advance indigenous and non-indigenous best practice in social and community work. We also encourage the sharing of indigenous knowledge, wisdom and experience within the professional body.

Professional Indemnity Insurance 

Being a Social Worker puts you squarely in the firing line for being called to account for your professionalism and conduct.  Often you are dealing with very complex issues and a wide gambit of human emotions.  Society is demanding more of you and regulatory frameworks are empowering employers and regulatory bodies to investigate and act on complaints about social work practice.

Of particular note is that the cover through ANZASW is particular to individual members and only the member is entitled to the full benefit of the policy.  This means members do not have to rely on any cover that may be provided by their employer.  Many “practice” issues can start as or evolve into “employment” issues and it would be dangerously contradictory to be in a dispute with your employer while at the same time looking to rely on indemnity insurance that they control.

In some cases, the practice issue that gave rise to the claim was not upheld. Having access to legal defence enabled the member to defend their professional practice.

The Social Workers Registration Legislation Act requires employers to report to the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) if they believe that a social worker they employ is not competent, has engaged in a serious mis-conduct or may be unable to function appropriately as a social worker because of a mental or physical condition. Social workers are also required to report if they believe another social worker may be unable to function appropriately as a social worker because of a mental or physical condition.  These requirements mean that having access to professional indemnity insurance is even more important.

The cover that ANZASW provides is tailor-made for individual practitioners and covers allegations about delivery of professional social work services. Allegations may be investigated by the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB), the Health & Disability Commissioner, the Privacy Commissioner, the Coroner, employers or ANZASW. The average claim by members for Indemnity Insurance is $8500 for legal services and penalties.

The services of the Legal Advisory panel are available, allowing members of the ANZASW scheme access to free legal advice on claims-related matters. This advice is available without the requirement for the insurer’s prior consent, up to a limit of $2,500.

Members are also able to access an accidental death and dismemberment benefit in the event they experience a workplace-related accident. 

Professional development 

Our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) services will assist you to fulfil your obligation to undertake a minimum of 20 hours professional development each year and maintain competent practice while keeping you informed about the latest in social work research, theory and techniques.

ANZASW will continue to support members to maintain competent practice by providing professional development.  We offer a growing range of services designed to deepen your knowledge and skills: 

  • We offer many hours of free professional development through webinars, covering a wide range of topics which will help you meet the requirements set by the Social Work Registration Board to maintain an Annual Practising Certificate (APC). The webinars can be accessed in real time or by watching the recording on the website after it has been streamed.
  • We have a growing repository of national and international professional development events; searchable by CPD Interests, Dates, Location and more
  • We provide a SWRB approved, member-only Online CPD Log that can be accessed any time, any where, from any device.
  • Online Learning Modules are being developed – the first is Courageous Conversations by Madeleine Taylor. You can Click here>> to create your account and sign up for this and future training opportunities.
  • A CPD accreditation programme is being developed – this will enable members to select CPD activities that meet minimum standards.
  • Branches, Roopu and National Office deliver workshops and seminars that members can attend

I just want to say that the Webinar programme that you’ve got on offer this year is AWESOME! Especially for those of us who live in more rural areas and find getting to professional development a challenge. I don’t often get to login on the day but having access to them on the website means that’s not too much of an issue – Mary

Supervision

Social workers are expected to access regular, appropriate and relevant professional supervision at least monthly. Professional supervision is one of the essential means to develop social workers and ensure quality service provision. The Supervisors Listing provides members with access to a wide range of supervisors who will assist you to take your skills to the next level.

Professional development, including random audits of CPD Logs, and accessing professional supervision will be part of the mechanism by which SWRB ensures social workers are competent to practice.

Publications

The Code of Ethics is provided to all members. It is an invaluable resource that outlines the definitive set of principles for social work practice in Aotearoa New Zealand. It helps you maintain high standards and acts as a guidebook to help you navigate the labyrinth of social work practice with confidence.

Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work Journal , the Associations professional journal, acts as a platform for research, analysis and scholarly debate on social work theory, policy and practice. The Journal is the premiere publication of the social work profession in Aotearoa New Zealand. It both informs the reader and critically examines developments in the field.

We also provide content to members through NoticeBoard, E-Notices and social media postings which contain the latest information on developments in the sector and the Association.

Our website hosts our latest press releases, updates on developments in the Association, Annual Reports, information on fees; practice guides, submissions and briefings to Ministers and much more.

Social Work Vacancies

ANZASW lists job vacancies on its website through the job centre. This provides access to a comprehensive listing of job vacancies in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Networking & Information

As the largest professional social work body in the country with thousands of members, ANZASW provides an unrivalled network through which members can access collegial support, advice, professional supervision and industry intelligence. Members can connect with the network through Association activities, huis, working groups, committees and forums.

As one member told us:

“As a professional social worker my identity has been shaped by ANZASW. Often social workers are working in isolated practice and the professional body provides that collegial support, opportunities to link to other members of the profession, to strengthen the professional identity when often you are challenged in isolation. The professional body has also enabled me to participate locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and that of course adds huge value to the different perspectives that you carry.”