Reasons for Renewing your Membership of the ANZASW

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“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 and this is at the heart of everything we do.

For more than half a century, we have promoted 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.

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

“The membership provides a professional voice for an unknown yet old, old profession. The organisation gives a voice opportunity to advocate about current social and political issues. The indemnity insurance is a bonus of being a member.”

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

Every year ANZASW monitors the ‘airwaves’, making submissions on a number of issues. Members are invited to contribute to these activities. Our voice is strengthened when members contribute and participate in the process.

The function of ANZASW is to provide services and an independent voice for members. The function of the SWRB is to protect the public by ensuring social workers are competent to practice and accountable for their practice. Recognising the different functions of the two organisations, both ANZASW and SWRB are committed to working collaboratively. The Association has made a significant contribution to the revised Section 13 process and the development of the Scope of Practice.

Through the Social Work Alliance ANZASW has strong links with key organisations in the social work sector and is able to use the Alliance as a forum to influence policy and legislation.

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.

“For me as a pākeha practitoner it was such a privilege to listen to the selection of speakers of such calibre generously offering their perspectives into Te Ao Māori and its relationship to social work practice. The Kapiti waiata group was awesome too.

This is the first time in all my years of practice (since the 80s!) that I have had such an opportunity to be part of a Māori centred day and I would like to once again thank all responsible.”

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 Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in Sate Care and Faith Based Institutions is well under way.

While the focus of the Inquiry will be on the period 1 January 1950 – 31 December 1999 the Inquiry may hear from people who were in care at any point after 1999 or are currently in care (whether or not they were also in care before 1999)[1].

The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions has the ability to:

  • support victims/survivors (if they wish) to refer a matter to the Police or to other appropriate complaints or investigative bodies or support services[2].
  • make findings of fault, that relevant standards have been breached, or both, and may make recommendations that further steps be taken to determine liability[3].

The potential for members to be impacted is significant as members have worked in both residential and non-residential settings such as social welfare, health & disability, educational, transitional, law enforcement and faith-based institutions, all of which fall under the purview of the Inquiry.

Members affected by the inquiry will have access to professional indemnity insurance.

[2] Clause 20 (f) Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care& in Faith-based Institutions Order 2018

[3] Clause 33 Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care& in Faith-based Institutions Order 2018

[1] Clause 10.1 (A) – (c) Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care& in Faith-based Institutions Order 2018

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.

Kia ora korua – a Big Thank you to you both (and your teams) for yesterday’s CPD event. It was truly a rich intellectual and networking ‘buffet’ (and the food was also good!!). The variety of presentations and pace meant that there was something for everyone and I am sure folk will have taken away different things from the day to add to their professional kete. – member feedback

  • We have annual CPD/AGM Events.
  • This year we co-hosted Mō tātou, ā, mō kā uri ā muri ake nei – For us, and our children after us, Symposium – it was lauded as a huge success.
  • 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).
  • We have a growing repository of professional development events; searchable by CPD Interests, SWRB Core Competences, by Location and more
  • We provide a SWRB approved, member-only Online CPD Log that can be accessed any time, any where, from any device.
  • Branches, Roopu and National Office deliver workshops and seminars that members can attend

Publications

The Code of Ethics is accessible to all members including a poster you can display at your workplace. 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.

“I have just read the Aotearoa New Zealand Code of Ethics (2019). What a beautifully crafted piece of work that so sensitively captures the spirit of social work. Other countries would do well to follow this lead.”

Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work Journal , the Association’s 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.

“I love the updates and informing members of upcoming training and vacancies – Celebrating the developments and encouraging professional up skilling.”

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.

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.

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

“ANZASW provides me with a sense of professional identity, excellent networking opportunities and great [free] education through the Webinars”

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.

Member Feedback:

“I wanted to say a big thank you to you for the leadership you have demonstrated over the past few years in your role with ANZASW.  The Cambridge AGM was so powerful and humbling … and as social workers it is so important to see such strong female leadership that you have cultivated. Myself and my two colleagues felt so proud to be part of ANZASW at this event and it became clear to me that you have been the backbone of this organisation and not shied away from tough decisions and hard work. “

“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.”

 

“Fluidity to personalise the support I need from ANZASW because of my situation of work and family.  […] Open door (even if it’s by email or phone), ability to listen and hear what my heart is saying which makes me feel valued and of worth.

 

ANZASW builds Mana in the social worker, in the person which overflows into other areas of my life.”

“Under the umbrella of ANZASW, is reassurance that I’m trustworthy of working with confidence and integrity to build quality relationships with whānau and to support them through their dilemmas in their lives”

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