Half social workers ‘not qualified’

Sunday Star Times 6 May 2012
More than 6000 people working with society’s most vulnerable are unqualified to help and critics want mandatory registration for all social workers to prevent well-meaning but untrained people doing more harm than good. Pressure is mounting for compulsory registration of social workers after a decade of a voluntary regime. Amid welfare reforms and high child-abuse rates, there is growing concern that those most at risk in society are being misled by good-intentioned carers who are not qualified to advise them. Last week the Social Workers Registration Board told Parliament that an abused child, terminally ill patient or unemployed family seeking budgeting advice currently had no assurance the person making decisions on their behalf was competent to do so. In the last census 14,000 people identified themselves as social workers. Of those, 3425 are registered and experts predict a further 2500-4500 of them would meet registration criteria. That leaves at least 6000 social sector workers of doubtful ability. “Today, I could be a builder and think `I’m going to be a social worker’ and go and put up a sign and be a social worker,” Association of Social Workers chief executive Lucy Sanford-Reed said. Mandatory registration would make it illegal for non-registered community workers to describe themselves as social workers.


5 comments for “Half social workers ‘not qualified’

  1. Bob
    6 May 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Excellent point made about Family First’s call for an independent CYF Complaints Authority 🙂

  2. vera boyd
    7 May 2012 at 3:10 pm

    It is worse than that. I was at a foster carers association hui and we found out that social worker training does not include the identification of post traumatic stress syndrome, or identifying abuse caused outcomes. this means that the social workers do not agree with counselling of the children in their care, and consequently the children are left in a traumatised condition.

  3. Lorriane Cummins
    7 May 2012 at 3:28 pm

    It costs around $1,000 for a social worker to be registered. Most don’t because they say they can’t afford it, however, with a starting salary of around $45,000 that seems a bit of a cop out. They should be allowed to pay it off like a student loan if they want to work in the system and claim that they are social workers. Also, most of their training is done in classes. How on earth do they know, especially the childless ones, what it is like living with children that are “special needs”, i.e. with diagnosed conditions.

  4. Quixote
    8 May 2012 at 2:51 pm

    No justice!Non registration “denies” accountability. Government agencies do NOT want accountability as it leads to scrutiny,redress and costly damages? Pike River is an example..people die from the ‘poor practices’ of self regulation.Also ‘non binding’ CIR, as in the ‘Smacking Debate’, denies the will of the people? Obfuscation is at the forefront usually at the ‘whim’ of a cabal of LAWYERS who pick up the cash? But ultimately Government sees all this as a LOSS of POWER? What price ‘Democracy’?

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