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South Australian registration campaign

The registration of the social work profession is an issue that the AASW has campaigned for, over a long period. In response to significant failures in their child protection system, South Australia is now the first jurisdiction in the country to begin legislating to make registration a reality in that state.

The Marshall Liberal Government took the registration of social workers as part of their policy platform into the SA state election, and since then we have been working with the Government and across the South Australian Parliament to ensure the best social work registration scheme possible.

Latest Updates

May 2021

We are thrilled to announce that on 12 May the South Australian Upper House supported the report of the Joint Committee into the Registration of Social Workers Bill – a Bill introduced by Tammy Franks Greens MLC. The key recommendation of the report is for South Australia to pass legislation and lead the nation in the registration of social workers. The AASW have been advocating for registration for over 20 years and this is a much welcomed next step.

December 2020

Thanks to the work of the AASW and members over decades, we are one step closer to having social work be a registered profession.

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.

A webinar was held in December 2020 which you can watch here.

Read the full media release here.

September 2020

In 2020 the SA Committee has held more hearings and is now in the process of finalising its report and recommendations for the Bill.

The AASW has given evidence numerous times and we are waiting on the outcome of this inquiry. The AASW as advocated for the inclusion of several key changes.

The Committee will hand in its report in the last quarter of 2020.

The process for introducing the Bill

The introduction of the Social Workers Registration Bill 2018 was made by the Hon Tammy Franks MLC into the South Australian upper house on Wednesday, 5 September 2018 and was attended by AASW CEO Cindy Smith, along with SA Branch BMC members. Below is the clip from Facebook.

Read the Hon Tammy Franks's speech.

We published a media release on the day and our Board Director Anita Phillips was interviewed on ABC Adelaide radio breakfast on Thursday, 6 September.

The Bill will make provision for the registration of Social Workers and establish a Social Workers Registration Board.

2018 Our submission to the Social Workers Registration Bill Inquiry

The Bill is currently going through a public inquiry. The AASW has been present at every hearing, we have given oral evidence and made two submissions you can now access here.

In our submission we welcome the introduction of the Social Work Registration Bill 2018 and commends Parliament for taking such an important step to better protect the lives of vulnerable children adults and families across South Australia.

Statutory registration provides a systemic response and is much needed because: it sets and protects professional education and practice standards; it defines safe and competent scopes of practice; it ensures qualification and fitness to practice checks prior to practice; it requires minimum continuing professional development for practitioners; and it establishes a profession specific complaints and disciplinary process with a public record of registered and deregistered persons.

Our submission details the recommended amendments including: The need for greater clarity around ethical guidelines and unprofessional conduct, eligibility for registration and board composition.

2019 Public Hearings

In September, the AASW gave formal evidence again to this inquiry presenting our concluding arguments and responding to several of the issues raised throughout the hearings. We will make our final submission available shortly.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers