Written Answers. - Social Workers Registration.

Frances Fitzgerald


115 Ms Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will establish statutory registration for social workers as soon as possible. [8331/98]

The question of establishing a system of statutory registration for designated health and social service professions has been under consideration by my Department for some time. The groups concerned are social workers, physiotherapists, radiographers, chiropodists, care workers, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, environmental health officers, and medical laboratory technicians.

However, despite various initiatives over recent years, great difficulties still remain in devising a scheme which would meet all the requirements of the various professions and which would provide for a system of self-financing self-regulation. This issue is once again being examined within my Department at present, with other models for statutory registration being investigated in an effort to overcome the difficulties in question.