New Zealand reaches 10,000 registered social workers milestone

 New Zealand reaches 10,000 registered social workers milestone
“There are now more than 10,000 registered social workers in New Zealand, an increase of over 3,600 social workers over the last four years, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “This is a significant milestone worth celebrating today on World Social Work Day,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “In 2017, there were 6,631 social workers on the register. That increased to 7,812 in 2018/19 and to 8,642 last year. The jump to nearly 10,300 registered social workers this year means we have a strong and resilient workforce where people can be confident in the care, advice and support they receive from social workers. “Our social workers are at the frontline and beyond, providing assistance to those most in need. They play a vital role in improving the wellbeing of tamariki, communities and whānau across the motu. “It has been an extraordinarily challenging 12 months for New Zealanders, as we deal with the impacts of COVID-19, and one where the resilience, ongoing mahi and compassion shown by our social workers has been needed more than ever. “Today’s milestone follows the introduction on February 27 of mandatory registration for social workers. This move was long sought by the sector, and offers reassurance to the public that all social workers must adhere to a Code of Conduct and understand their professional obligations.” “Today I want to celebrate all our social workers, who continue to be a source of tremendous pride for the profession, and our country. You’re a vital workforce,” Carmel Sepuloni said. ENDS Media Contact: Kieran Meredith, 021 817 570 Editors notes: ·                Now that mandatory registration is in place (27th February, 2021) the title is protected which means you can only call yourself a social worker, be known as, or held out to be a social worker if you are registered. ·                For the last 18 months an information campaign has been run to inform the social work sector.  The Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB) will be continuing its campaign to inform social workers and employers of social workers that registration is mandatory. ·                From 27 February 2021, the Ministry of Social Development is responsible for ensuring that anyone who should be registered as a social worker has obtained registration or has applied to the SWRB for it.  It is encouraging every social worker to be registered, and it will work with the SWRB to ensure this happens.   ·                The Ministry is developing a risk assessment approach about how and when it will act where it learns of social workers who knowingly continue in their role without being registered, based on the risk of public harm. 

Kieran Meredith Press Secretary

Office of Hon Carmel Sepuloni

DDI: +64 4 817 8294 | Mobile: +64 21 817 570 | Email:

Minister for Social Development & Employment, Minister for Disability Issues, Minister for ACC, and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

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