Opinion: Emanuel Stoakes – new Bill risks damaging social work reputation

A new Bill could see vulnerable health clients being supported by practitioners who are not registered or accountable, argues social work advocate Emanuel Stoakes.
The Social Work Registration Legislation Bill is set to have an enormous impact on the social work profession, including those who work in the health sector.
The bill has just passed through the Social Services Select Committee and – as it stands – this piece of legislation could cause long-lasting damage to not only the reputation of social work in Aotearoa New Zealand but also to the capacity of practitioners to provide quality services to very vulnerable people.

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Meetings on Social Work Registration Legislation Bill

Over the past two weeks the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) has engaged in a series of meetings to address concerns over the Social Worker Registration Legislation Bill.
On Friday April 27th we met in Wellington with a representative group from the social work sector to discuss the bill following the return of the Select Committee’s report to the House. Our main focus was the need to change section 6AAB of the bill which determines

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Social Workers need to be Registered like Doctors and Nurses, Association says

Social work needs to be registered to stop anyone calling themselves a “social worker”, mandatory registration advocates say.
Last week, the social services select committee ignored calls to make requested changes to the Social Work Registration Legislation Bill for mandatory social work registration.
The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers fear if left unchanged, the definition of “social work” in the legislation means anyone could practice social work.

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Social Workers fear new Bill

The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) fears the new Social Workers Registration Legislation Bill, which aims to raise professional standards through mandatory registration for social workers, contains loopholes whereby employers will not be required to register.
Experts in the sector say their concern lies within the bill’s definition, or lack thereof, of the term ‘social worker’ and that their submissions have been ignored by politicians.

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Social Workers call for Govt to scrap Registration Bill

Social workers want the government to scrap a proposed law to make registration mandatory, saying it excludes half the country’s workforce and does not do enough to protect the public.
The Social Workers Registration Legislation Bill aims to raise professional standards but still leaves it up to an employer to decide who is and who is not a social worker.

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Social Work in New Zealand under Attack

IFSW, 24 April 2018 http://ifsw.org/news/social-work-in-new-zealand-under-attack/ Statement from the Aotearoa New Zealand Assocation of Social Workers: Social work in Aotearoa New Zealand is under unprecedented attack. As the voice of the profession in the country, the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) appeals to international colleagues for solidarity and support at this critical time. The assault centres around a […]

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Bill poses threat to Social Workers

The social work profession in Aotearoa New Zealand is at a turning point. A crucial decision is about to be made that could have long-term implications for social workers across the country.
The threat is a section of the Social Work Registration Legislation Bill which is before Parliament’s social services select committee. If the bill remains as it is, it could mean up to 50 per cent of currently registered social workers and practitioners with a social work qualification in roles not described using the words “social worker” will not be required to be registered, meaning they can operate without any accountability.

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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.

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Social Workers Fear New Bill will Remove Protections

Fears have been raised that a bill to make registration mandatory for social workers will be too easy for employers to get around.
Although there is widespread support for a rule that says social workers must be registered, many are urging the government to rethink its approach.
The bill essentially leaves it to an employer to decide which jobs will be called social worker positions.

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