Sincere thanks to the AASW in supporting our challenge and at last, a positive resolution to the Mid North Coast Local Health District (MNCLHD) directive for Allied Health Clinicians including Social Workers, to wear uniforms.
We appreciate AASW support and assistance in negotiations with the Senior Executive team of MNCLHD regarding the directive to wear compulsory uniforms. The uniform dispute commenced over three years ago. It has now been resolved in our favour and across the district for all Social Workers. The decision for hospital based social workers to have the choice of wearing uniforms to have a non-compulsory directive to wear uniforms for hospital based social workers has been reached by MNCHLD due to support of AASW, AASW NSW Branch, NSW Health Social Work Advisory Committee, Health Services Union and the persistence of all staff in our department and dedication to social work professional core values.
As social workers, our primary focus is client care and we aim for best outcomes for the client, in particular those who are disadvantaged, vulnerable, oppressed or have exceptional needs.
As per AASW 2010:13 wearing a uniform would present a major barrier in delivering high quality, safe and supportive care and provision of social work service to our patients, clients and their families as well as carers. Uniforms carry structural and rigid implication that infers a power imbalance that immediately impacts the therapeutic relationship in an often unhelpful manner. As social workers we are knowledgeable, skilled and guided by AASW Code of Ethics in our professional practice, especially when it comes vulnerable groups.
We are proud to be part of the AASW as a peak body for our discipline and we value the support provided.
With Sincere Thanks,
Social Work Department at Coffs Harbour Health Campus, MNCLHD, NSW Health.