Reasons to Renew
There are many reasons to renew your membership with the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW). We work hard to advocate on behalf of our members and the communities that they work with.
Thanks to the support and feedback of our member, the AASW was successful in delivering many new initiatives and activities throughout the last 12 months, including:
Education and Training Team
Our Education and Training team have been striving to deliver you a rich selection of live online webinars, workshops, and on demand training, covering a broad range of topics.
Some of the CPD events our Members enjoyed over the past 12 months include:
- The role of social workers in mental health promotion
- Therapeutic interventions in working with eating disorders
- Fat is not a feeling – Language matters
- At school with an eating disorder
- Introduction to Trauma-informed Practice and Self-care
- Social Work, Telehealth and You
- Harnessing the rainbow: Working alongside gender diverse clients in social work practice
See what our members had to say about these live online events:
“It was an excellent well prepared accessible session with information that will change my practice and better inform the way I work."
“This training was excellent - presentation and resources. I can see immediate implications for practice.”
“A very high quality session, that was well researched, put together and presented. A lot of relevant information delivered in an engaging way in a short time. Slides and additional work on resources was also much appreciated and useful for review and reflection. Will definitely recommend to others.”
The Education and Training Team aim to make your CPD journey as straight forward as possible, a goal that led to the creation of the Social Work Practitioner Capability Self Assessment (Pilot) which was launched in early 2021.
The Self Assessment tool is designed to help social workers gain more insight into their current strengths and to identify areas for improvement. The insights provided by the Self Assessment Tool are intended to help social workers make better informed decisions when planning for future professional development.
Keep an eye out for more exciting CPD opportunities and initiatives coming this year.
Social Policy and Advocacy Team
Throughout 2020/2021 the Social Policy and Advocacy Team have been passionately advocating on as a strong voice for social justice on behalf of our AASW Members and for the social work profession.
Thank you for your input into the key submissions from the past year that have focused on a wide range of issues including mental health, social work registration, income support, housing, and homelessness among many others. Highlights from the past year include:
- Leading the campaign for the registration of the social work profession with the National Registration and Accreditation Scheme
- State and federal pre-Budget submissions
- Advocating to the Productivity Commission’s report on the Social and Economic Benefits of Improving Mental Health
- Input from Members into extensive submission to the Royal Commission into Mental Health that included eight key improvements
- Calling for the systemic overhaul of the New South Wales child protection and social services systems
- A submission to the House of Representatives Select Committee inquiry into Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, calling for a more cohesive system of mental health support to radically reform Australia’s mental health system
- Making a submission to the Senate Select Committee on Job Security as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and recent devastating natural disasters, calling for governments at all levels to commit to a five-year funding certainty for the precarious community services sector.
- Calling for change to the Child Protection and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 (QLD)
- Lobbying all parties in the lead up to the Western Australian, Tasmanian and Queensland state elections
- Calling on the New South Wales Government to reject the Education Legislation Amendment (Parental Rights) Bill 2020
Learn more about Social Policy and Advocacy at the AASW.
The AASW Online Community: Social Work Australia
In June 2020 the AASW launched Social Work Australia, an online community designed specifically for AASW Members. With more than 4,000 users, Social Work Australia is a go-to resource and professional tool that allows Members to join groups based on their interests and field of work. This online community is forum in which our Members can connect, engage and participate in important discussions relating to the social work profession.
Join Social Work Australia today and don't forget to introduce yourself to the community! To log in to Social Work Australia, simply use your AASW Member login details.
Code of Ethics
In late 2020, the AASW delivered the new AASW Code of Ethics 2020 which expresses the values and responsibilities that are integral to and characterise the social work profession. The Code of Ethics 2020 was presented at the 2020 AGM and is now accessible here.
In November 2020, the AASW delivered the National Symposium 2020 with the theme Promoting Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Social Work. The Symposium brought together a diverse range of experienced stakeholders from across the health and human services sector to discuss the history, present and future of social work. Keynote speakers included Dr Stephanie Gilbert and Stan Grant.
To move towards more environmentally friendly and sustainable practices, the AASW provides the Social Work Focus magazine and Australian Social Work journal exclusively in an online format. By doing so, these publications are accessible to all AASW Members and can be accessed anyway and anytime! This decision is based on the feedback received from the 2020 AASW Members Survey.
Get more information on Social Work Focus and the Australian Social Work journal.
The AASW has made a significant investment in expanding the Credentialing program with the introduction of new Credentials to support leaders in social work and facilitate a consistent way of assessing and recognising specialist skills.
Social workers are unique and with their specialist knowledge and skills have the capability to work across many areas and are involved with people across the entire life span from birth to death, from facilitating early interventions to working in some of the most challenging and complex situations.
While a qualifying degree gives social workers the skills, knowledge and attributes they need to practise, the complexity of social work means continuous development is required throughout their careers. Recognition of specialist skills and experience ensures a high quality of service delivery to the community.
Head to the recently launched AASW Credentials website to learn more about Credentials and hear from some AASW Credential holders.
Reconciliation Action Plan
The AASW Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2020-22 has seen actions that include:
- The Social Policy and Advocacy Framework has been updated to ensure targeted consultation with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander members and stakeholders are consulted on AASW submissions and policy activities, where relevant and as appropriate.
- A very successful Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Social Work symposium that was held in November 2020, featuring an online Truth-Telling session to mark NAIDOC Week, and registration numbers of 1000+.
- A new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Work group in which Indigenous and non-Indigenous members can participate has been established in Social Work Australia hub in response to a Member request.
- AASW staff, Managers, BMCs and Working Group members participated in 27 NAIDOC Week events.
- A dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Work edition of Social Work Focus was released in October 2020.
- Cultural Awareness training was undertaken by all staff in March 2021.
- Acknowledgement and Welcome to Country Protocols are being reviewed.
Social Work Registration
Throughout 2020 the AASW continued to lobby for the inclusion of social work in National Registration and Accreditation Scheme (NRAS) through submissions and direct engagement with key stakeholders.
Thanks to the work of the AASW and Members over many decades, we are one step closer to having social work be a registered profession.
In December 2020, the South Australian parliament introduced its final report calling for the registration of social workers with the legislation being voted on early next year. This is a truly historic step that will significantly improve the quality of social work services in the community.
Learn more about the AASW Campaign actions for Social Work Registration.
The AASW worked closely with AHPA and other allied health professional organisations to advocate at the highest levels for the expansion of the Telehealth services and continues to advocate for improved remuneration conditions for workers and an increase in the number of mental health support sessions available to people.
Our advocacy on this and other related matters has involved raising our concerns in the appropriate high level forums including:
- Liaising with the Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, and with the Department of Veteran's Affairs on their recent announcement mirroring the new MBS items.
- Attending Department Health sessions on COVID-19 and mental health support updates
- Continuing to work with the Association of Health Professionals Australia on joint advocacy activities.
The AASW set up the COVID19 Facebook group to post important news and updates about COVID19 and to answer questions from our Members.
Learn more about the AASW’s COVID19 response here.
AASW Membership Benefits & Services
Renewing your AASW Membership gives you exclusive access to a range of benefits and services that are designed to support you in being the best social worker you can be. By renewing your membership, you'll be entitled to 12 more months of:
To get more detailed information on the full range of benefits and services that an AASW Membership entitles you to, visit our Membership Benefits & Services webpage.