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Positive progress for social worker workforce – Louise Upston

New Zealand’s social workers are qualified, experienced, and more representative of the communities they serve, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.

“I want to acknowledge and applaud New Zealand’s social workers for the hard work they do, providing invaluable support for our most vulnerable.

“To coincide with World Social Work Day today, the Social Workers Registration Board has released its Annual Social Worker Workforce Report 2023, which shines a light on the challenges and opportunities facing the profession.

“Social workers in this country are more representative of the clients they serve, compared to many other regulated professions, as well as being a qualified and experienced workforce.

“The profession is also better respected since it became law for social workers to be registered and regulated. The Coalition Government was pleased to help enhance this by passing legislation last month that will require all social workers to have a professional qualification to apply for registration in two years’ time.

“However, recruitment and retention of social workers continue to be urgent challenges that need addressed, which is why the Coalition Government recently delayed the move to a professional qualification requirement.

“Both World Social Work Day and the publication of this report are timely reminders of the need for further planning, development and support for the profession and the wider health and social service sector.”


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