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Child abuse royal commission: Registration could help prevent abuse like BGD's in the future

Published: 19 August 2015

The AASW sees the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse as a significant step towards exposing and addressing the pain and suffering caused to abuse survivors like BGD and hopes that it leads to policy reform, including formal registration, to ensure past atrocities are never repeated.

National President, Professor Karen Healy, says BGD’s child protection workers breached their duty of care when they responded negligently to her serious sexual assault.

“The AASW knows clients of child protection services are amongst the most vulnerable in our society and believe they deserve well educated, supervised and professionally accountable staff,” said Professor Healy.

She says this is why the AASW advocates for professionally educated and registered social workers in the child protection workforce.

“Formal registration was also supported by the South Australian Coroner in his recent recommendation over the tragic death of Chloe Valentine,” Professor Healy said.

“In the US, Canada and the UK, to protect the public from negligent practice, social workers must be registered. In Australia there is no such statutory regulation despite a 20 year campaign by the AASW.”

The Australian Association of Social Workers represents over 9000 professional social workers who are committed to working with communities and individuals to promote wellbeing, human rights and social justice.

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AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers