New legislation passes to make registration mandatory for Social workers

The Social Workers Registration Legislation Bill was passed in Parliament today giving greater protection for some of our most vulnerable people and increasing standards in the social work sector, says Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.

“This is a great day for the social work profession. It has been 16 years since the voluntary registration system was introduced in 2003,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“The new legislative requirements will finally make registration mandatory for social workers.  It will align with best practice in similar occupations and give a firm base for the social work profession to continue to develop in the future.

“Most importantly, the wellbeing and safety of people helped by social workers will be increased.

“The changes to mandatory reporting come into force progressively over the next two years, and mean that members of the public can have greater confidence that social workers will be properly qualified and subject to professional standards and competence requirements.

“The Social Work Alliance, a cross-sector representative body of social workers, was essential to the passage of this bill and ensuring we had legislation that was fit for purpose and backed by the sector. I want to thank all of those people who contributed to the bill and have helped us pass a truly transformative piece of legislation.

“Social workers undertake difficult and challenging work with people who are often highly vulnerable. Their contribution to our communities should be trusted, valued, and respected. The legislative changes will contribute to this happening. I want to acknowledge the tremendous contribution made by members of the sector in shaping this legislation” Carmel Sepuloni said.

More information on the changes to social worker registration is available at: https://www.msd.govt.nz/social-worker-registration