New Zealand is stepping forward into mandatory registration of all social workers this weekend, on 27th February 2021.
From that date, if you call yourself a social worker, are known as, or are held out to be a social worker, you must be registered. It’s an exciting move for the profession which has long worked to see the change take place.
The chief executive of the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB), Sarah Clark, says it will enhance professionalism.
“We see mandatory registration as being a vital step forward for the social work profession.
“Being registered and holding a valid Practising Certificate provides reassurance to the public that social workers work within the SWRB Code of Conduct and are part of a fully professional workforce.”
SWRB chair Shannon Pakura, who is herself a registered social worker, says mandatory registration is a significant milestone for the social work profession.
She has highlighted the mahi of social workers during Covid-19 and how they have been resolute in their commitment to the people they work with, despite the risks.
“Social workers drew on their knowledge, skills, and resilience all last year, and are continuing do so as this year unfolds, to play a vital role in supporting and advocating for those who need services and assistance.
“Mandatory registration is another step forward in the social work journey.”
Ms Clark says having a registered workforce is an acknowledgement of the value of the profession.
“This puts social work on an equal footing with other regulated professions, i.e. health professionals such as doctors and lawyers, teachers, lawyers, and accountants, all of which require registration.
“It also highlights the valuable contribution social workers make as a specialist profession in supporting the community.”