There's a push to introduce mandatory registration for all social workers who deal with vulnerable children.
New Zealand First has entered a member's bill into the ballot which would allow the already existing Social Workers' Registration Board to have some power.
Under the legislation, it would be able to regulate, support and monitor professional standards for those in the children’s workforce.
The party's spokesperson for Social Development Darroch Ball says the vast majority of New Zealanders don't realise registration isn't mandatory.
"The people I talk to, they all believe it should be mandatory."
"We need to be one hundred percent certain as a country that the vulnerable in our society are being looked after
by registered and qualified people."
Ball says more than 18,000 people identified themselves as social workers in the 2013 Census.
About 50 per cent of those had no formal qualification and just under three and half thousand would meet the current minimum standard to be registered.
Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you