In 1992 two psychiatric social workers based at Mount Carmel Hospital approached four other social workers at the Department of Family Welfare and with NGO’s and broached the idea of forming an Association of Social Workers. A Steering Committee was formed, and it met several times to prepare the ground-work – mainly in the form of a draft statute- necessary for the formation of the Association.
During the summer of 1993 three meetings for all Maltese social workers were held at the premises of the Association of Professional Bodies in Pembroke. During these meetings, the Statute was approved, and in July of that year the Maltese Association of Social Workers was formed. Since then the MASW has striven to facilitate the continuing professionalisation of social work in Malta. After many years of hard lobbying by the MASW, the Social Work Profession Act was passed by Parliament in November of 2003. It came into force in 2004.
All suitably-qualified social workers and University students reading for a B.A. in Social Work at the University of Malta are eligible for membership.
MASW is for:
- Promoting and enhancing the quality and effectiveness of social work practice in Malta;
- Serving as the voice of social workers in their commitment for greater social justice through better services and social policies in favour of the more vulnerable members of society;
- Creating a representative forum of the professional interests of social workers;
- Fostering the education and training of social workers;
- Promoting the advancement of the social work profession;
- Ensuring that preparation for practice is of an adequately high standard;
- Encouraging recruitment in the social work profession;
- Maintaining a register of social workers;
- Co-operating with others involved in the promotion of welfare and health of individuals and the social well-being of the community;
- Establishing and maintain relationships with other social workers, their professional associations and social work agencies in other countries so that social work in Malta can keep abreast with international developments;
- Pursuing the goal that all those occupying a post designated as "social workers" have received recognised training which qualifies such persons for this work and that the terms "social work" and "social worker" are used within a professional context;
- Developing, promulgate and enforce a code of ethics for social work;
- Ensuring that the social work profession is self-regulated to the greatest extent possible whilst maintaining the necessary degree of social accountability;
- Interpreting to the community the contribution of professional social work.