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Regulating unaccredited social workers

Type: Parliamentary Questions

Topic(s): Social Service Agencies & Partners, Social Service Professionals

Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) how does the Ministry regulate unaccredited social workers; (b) of the five complaints made against unaccredited social workers between 2017 and 2021, whether there has been any egregious cases; and (c) if so, how have these cases been resolved.


1. The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) appoints the Social Work Accreditation and Advisory Board (SWAAB) to uphold standards of professional conduct and code of ethics of the social work profession. A complaint lodged to SWAAB against an unaccredited social worker employed by a Government or Social Service Agency will be referred to the social worker’s employer to investigate into the complaint and for appropriate action to be taken. In egregious cases, the social worker can be dismissed from service.

2. The 5 complaints against unaccredited Social Workers received by SWAAB between 2017 and 2021 were not established to be egregious cases. They were in relation to social workers’ management of confidentiality issues and service quality. These complaints were referred to the Social Workers’ employers to be investigated and appropriate actions had been taken.

3. MSF will continue to uphold standards of professional conduct and code of ethics of the social work profession in the sector through SWAAB.