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AASW’s Policy Position on Aged Care

Social workers have a long and proud tradition of working with older Australians in supporting positive and healthy ageing, addressing issues of social injustice and advocating for system reforms. We work to raise awareness of the unique needs of older people as citizens as well as care recipients, who are often vulnerable to abuse across multiple domains of life. Our work is based on the strong commitment that every person has the right to wellbeing, self-fulfilment and self-determination, in keeping with the principles underpinning the AASW’s Code of Ethics. Our advocacy aligns with the 1991 United Nations Principles for Older Persons, which are Independence, Participation, Care, Self-Fulfilment and Dignity.

We have contributed to inquiries about elder abuse, the Aged Care Workforce Strategy, and the quality of care in residential aged care facilities.

Position Statements



April 2013

Ageing in Australia

Policy Submissions



November 2020 Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Counsel Assisting’s final submissions
July 2020 Covid 19 Inquiry Submission
March 2020 Submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

December 2019

Submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, Workforce

December 2018

Submission to Senate Community Affairs References Committee Re: Effectiveness of the Aged Care Quality Assessment and accreditation framework for protecting residents from abuse and poor practices, and ensuring proper clinical and medical care standards are maintained and practised

September 2018

Consultant to the Aged Care Workforce Strategy

February 2018

Submission to the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport Re: Inquiry into the Quality of Care in Residential Aged Care Facilities in Australia

August 2016

Submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission Re: Elder Abuse Issues Paper

March 2016

Submission to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee Re: Future of Australia’s aged care sector workforce

Submissions in progress:

Media Releases



1 October, 2020

International Day of Older Persons 2020: Call to address ageism in Australia

15 June, 2020

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2020: AASW calls for better resourcing of the aged care sector

14 June, 2019 World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2019: AASW renews call for a significant investment in aged care workforce

19 September, 2018

Australian social workers welcome the Royal Commission into aged care

15 June, 2018

Elder abuse takes many forms and requires a community response, says AASW on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

22 February, 2018

AASW strongly supports national strategy to stop elder abuse

15 June, 2017

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2017

Other relevant documents



16 August, 2017

Consultation with former Health Minister Hunt on Aged Care


Federal Election 2016: Aged care

December 2015

Scope of Social Work Practice Social Work in Aged Care

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers