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A first for SA social workers

Published: 5 December 2020

THE nation’s first registration system for social workers is expected to be established in SA following the
passing of new laws early next year.

A review of draft laws, finalised this week, has recommended SA “take the lead” nationally by passing the
Social Workers Registration Bill.

It was prompted by recommendations of a coronial inquest into the 2012 death of four-year-old Chloe
Valentine, who had extensive contact with the child-protection system during her short life.

The new laws would create a board responsible for keeping a register, investigating complaints and enforcing
penalties. The board would develop a code of conduct and definitions for unprofessional or improper conduct.
In cases where there was a public interest, details of disciplinary action or restrictions placed on certain social
workers would be made public.

The Australian Association of Social Workers chief executive Cindy Smith hoped the SA laws would be
“replicated in every state and territory”. She said it was vital that social workers received “supports from highly
trained and skilled professionals”.

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AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers