All social workers will have to be registered in a move the Government hopes will increase their professionalism and skills.
Social Development Minister Anne Tolley said social workers would have to meet set standards and undergo professional development to renew their practising certificate each year.
She said it meant they would also be accountable for their work.
“They are increasingly dealing with children, young people, adults and families with complex high needs,” she said.
Most social workers are registered about 6300 but Ms Tolley said it was believed about 2000 were not. She expected legislation requiring them to do so would be introduced to Parliament before it rose in August ahead of the September election. There would be a two-year transition period for social workers to register.
Ms Tolley said the cost of registration was expected to decrease overall. NZN