Social protection has become a policy of choice to address rising vulnerabilities and inequalities in Africa. Successful implementation of social protection polices requires proliferation of competent social workers. This article first abstracts elements of an emerging international norm in a comprehensive system for the development and management of social workers and then reviews the extent to which Ethiopia has introduced these elements. It reveals that Ethiopia is in a very early stage in putting in place almost all identified elements of such a system. Recent measures that the Ethiopian government is taking to address this gap are highlighted by way of conclusion.