7 Oct 2018

Legislation needed to prevent social work crime

9:26 am on 7 October 2018

The New Zealand Association of Social Work says the charges against an Oranga Tamariki employee highlights the need for all social workers to be registered.

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Photo: Supplied / Ministry of Justice

A 34-year-old woman will appear in the Waitakere District Court later this month charged with sexual conduct with a person under 16, exposing a person to indecent material, as well as two charges of supplying cannabis to someone under the age of 18.

The government is in the process of finalising legislation that requires all social workers to become registered. Currently it is a voluntary system.

Social Work Association president, Shannon Pakura, said having all workers registered would help prevent crimes against children.

"It recognises it is a profession that its members value that structure within the profession where they are required to be accountable for their practice.

"Where we have a social worker acting outside that there's a public accountability for that (action)," Ms Pakura said.

The association for social work will assist Oranga Tamariki during its internal review into the employee's conduct, she said.

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