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Greater support for social workers – Louise Upston

The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.

The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation Act to delay the repeal of the experience pathway to social worker registration by two years.

It means that after 28 February 2026 all social workers will need to have a professional qualification to apply for registration. Currently, those without qualifications can apply for registration based on significant practical experience.

“Social workers play an important role in our communities. Many who seek their help are in a vulnerable state, so it’s vital they are supported by a professional and competent workforce. The Government is committed to supporting the sector transition to a professional qualification environment as quickly as possible.”

The Coalition Government introduced an amendment to reduce this delay to two years, rather than the four years proposed by the previous government.

“Temporarily delaying the move to a professional qualification requirement is appropriate in supporting the sector to make sure there are enough new social workers entering the profession to address current vacancies.

“The shorter two-year delay introduced by this Government strikes a better balance between addressing current workforce shortages and continuing the transition to a professional qualification environment as soon as possible.

“This Government is committed to supporting the critical role that social workers play in helping those who are most at risk in our communities.”


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