Today the Upper House has supported the report of the Joint Committee into the Registration of Social Workers Bill – a Bill introduced by Greens MLC Tammy Franks.
The key recommendation of the report is for South Australia to pass legislation and lead the nation in requiring the registration of social workers.
The report, two years in the making, was sparked by the 2018 Bill for the Registration of Social Workers in South Australia. The 2018 Tammy Franks MLC sponsored private members Bill sought to make South Australia the first state in the country to register social workers through a state scheme. That Bill was then sent off to a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament, which has now reported.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC, Greens Parliamentary Leader:
“Today’s vote has been another important step in moving towards the registration of social workers. We have as a result of this Committee’s work a draft Bill based on the best advice of experts, and a draft Bill that could become model legislation for the country at that."
“The Australian Association of Social Workers has been calling for this reform for over 20 years. The Commonwealth has failed to lead the change. Multiple reviews and reports have recommended the registration of social workers. It’s time to get this done."
“Social workers represent one of the largest professional working groups in Australia, but have no formal registration requirements. They work with vulnerable people every day. But at the moment, people have limited options for recourse or action if a social worker is either acting inappropriately or is calling themselves a social worker without any formal qualifications. That is a shocking state of affairs which must change. It is vital that the Marshall Government now introduce and pass the legislation recommended in the report accepted today as soon as possible."