This article presents a strength, weakness, opportunities and threat (SWOT) analysis of the Youth '07 survey on the health and wellbeing of 9,107 secondary school students in New Zealand. It says that the survey has provided valuable overviews of some physical health matters, alcohol use, sexuality and the leisure time activities of the teenagers. However, the author relates that the data gathered by Youth '07 gave an incomplete picture of adolescence in the country.
INTRODUCTION: With the arrival of Europeans in Aotearoa New Zealand came a familial kinship structure and ideas of caring and nurturing children different from that of indigenous Māori society. Europeans brought with them a practice of adoption, a concept that differed from the indigenous kinship practice of whāngai. This led to misunderstandings between the two cultures about care arrangements, particularly when a Māori child was left with a European couple. Even the reasons why Māori engaged in this type of arrangement was often not fully understood by Europeans. For Māori, these arrangements were usually temporary, while Europeans considered them to be permanent. Hence, we have the beginning of the challenges that contributed to the creation of the 1881 Adoption of Infants Act, a first within the British Empire.APPROACH: This article begins with a description of the Māori practice of whāngai and the European practice of adoption preceding the 1881 act, highlighting the key differences between each—the most significant difference being the European idea of permanent and the Māori idea of temporary care arrangements.
The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic which, as at the time of writing, is ongoing throughout the world, has far-reaching implications for the practice of social work. As Aotearoa New Zealand steadily moves towards declaring itself “Covid-free,” it is important to reflect upon and capture the complexities, challenges, and dynamics experienced during the lockdown. As the pandemic continues to expand, front-line experiences can serve to inform decision making and reflection on the future development of the social work profession in a post-Covid world. This article will discuss the experiences of three social work educators at the University of Otago’s Social and Community Work Programme. Each contributor will relate their pandemic teaching and learning experience by aligning it with a Value and Ethical Principle of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Work Code of Ethics (ANZASW, 2019). Each contributor felt that it was important to capture their experiences during this defining moment in our history and to consider how the nature of relationships may have changed, how boundaries shifted and learning has ensued as we have journeyed through a shared traumatic experience together. “He waka eke noa” (we are all in this together)
This article will explore some evidence which shows the extent to which the female workforce in healthcare is undervalued at the present time. I also found a number of studies describing strong examples of resilient women acting in times of environmental crises. I will explore how feminisms in social work recognise the diverse experiences of women of colour. Throughout our continuing national experience of Covid-19, social cohesion in Aotearoa has been said to have played a significant role (Spoonley et al., 2020), with the country acting as a “team of five million”. While Spoonley et al.’s study (2020) emphasises the importance of social cohesion when it comes to working as a trusted collective, in this article I will argue that our society needs to bounce back to a better and more inclusive norm during the ongoing recovery from Covid-19.
This reflective commentary identifies and discusses the effects of the social distancing rules required by the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowni. The rules required rapid adaptation that many found challenging, creating new norms for behaviour that were governed by both the state and many citizens. These rules changed patterns of social interaction, attitudes towards others and how families and communities were defined. Existing inequities relating to class were exacerbated, and inequities relating to gender and childcare made more visible. Those with more resources and secure jobs that could be undertaken “from home” were less exposed to the economic fallout and the virus itself. Attitudes towards the body and its physicality were heightened as the body became the target for intervention and isolation. Place-based communities of the neighbourhood were strengthened while other types of physical communities diminished.All these changes created new opportunities for accelerating the morphing of people with the digital world, intensifying the use of online technologies to mediate the self, and shape employment practices, social work provision, and personal relationships. While some experienced this rapid transition online as a barrier to relationships, others, especially those already proficient in online technologies, experienced areas of improved functionality and efficiencies. Social work practice also adapted to this environment, finding new ways to meet the practice, support and ethical commitments of the profession.
Teaching social work students in Aotearoa New Zealand during the Covid-19 crisis produced an acute awareness of the impact of lockdown levels 3 and 4 on student wellbeing. Students were required to rapidly adapt to study in a fully online environment without the face-to-face support of university campus life. Normal social and academic pressures were immediately intensified, with no immediate relief in sight. Student resilience was tested further due to multiple factors such as: suddenly reduced incomes, parenting during lockdown, caring for whānau both within and external to their “bubble”, and being unable to come together with loved ones to celebrate life events or mourn those who had passed.
This is a personal memoir of a family member I greatly respected. It is a picture of social conditions in the inner cities in the mid-twentieth century, usually thought of as a time of general social security. It was also a time of change for the social work profession.
Introduction to:Powles, Guy, Ombudsman. (1968). Guest editorial. New Zealand Social Worker, News and Opinions, 4(4), 3-5.Jack, Miss Avery, (1968). Finland. New Zealand Social Worker, News and Opinions, 4(4), 9-13.
This article is based on an interview with John Fry, one-time President of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers of which he is now a Life Member. It describes, often in his own words, one man’s contribution over a 40-year period, to the social work profession and to the communities with which he worked. He is able to describe the early periods of urban drift, especially for Maori, and was respectfully working with traditional Maori communities in ways that challenged the dominant colonial attitudes present in the government institutions of the day.
During the 1980s I enthusiastically embarked on study at master’s level. My passion was anti-racism training for social work students. But work commitments, family, the complexity of the subject and life in general interceded and I failed in my commitment to complete my thesis despite having done most of the work. I feltI let the students down. Reflecting on this with colleagues recently,I was challenged to write something forthe 50th anniversary journal publication of Social Work Review. These are my memories backed up with a little bit of checking in past publications of NZASW (New Zealand Association of Social Workers) as it was then known.
A number of key events took place in the history of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) in the mid-1980s and early 1990s. This article explores critical developments and debates in the lead up to the 1986 Turangawaewae conference at which the bi-cultural structure of the Association first emerged. The proceedings of the conference itself are examined and the subsequent establishment of a unique system of accountability for ANZASW members discussed. These events are considered significant in the shaping of the Association’s current structure, bi-lingual Code of Ethics (ANZASW, 2015), its competency assessment processes and in its contribution to the era of professional registration.While it is impossible to clearly delineate a beginning point, the article picks up the Association’s story in 1984. It is told from the perspective of the first two Manuhiri Caucus Presidents, Sarah Fraser (1986-1988) and Lynne Briggs (1988 – 1990), and gives voice to some of the participants involved through reference to documents and communications of the time. Other than the points at which the histories of the Manuhiri (later renamed as Tau Iwi) and Tangata Whenua (later renamed as Tangata Whenua Takawaenga o Aotearoa) caucuses intersect, it is the authors’ view that the important and ground breaking history of the Tangata Whenua Caucus is not theirs to relate.
When the Adult Adoption Information Act 1985 was introduced it enabled many people who were adopted to reclaim their original identities. The Act also enabled parents who had relinquished children for adoption to reunite with them. The Act made provision for 24 dedicated social workers known as Adult Adoption Information Officers to be appointed throughout New Zealand. This article, which is a personal reflection on how the Act was implemented and the changes in adoption practice over 25 years, was originally written in 2010 for all Ministry of Social Development Adoption Social Workers.
The Pūao-te-Āta-tū Report (1986) is the founding document of Māori social work in Aotearoa, second only to Te Tiriti o Waitangi (1840) in its significance for Māori social workers. This article presents the influences of Pūao-te-Āta-tū over the past 20+ years on Māori social work. The Report promoted significant changes to social work; in particular, the development of social work practices by Māori, with whānau Māori. In light of its significant nature, research was undertaken with eight Māori social workers to engage them in discussion on the influential nature of Pūao-te-Āta-tū on their social work practice. This article presents the participants’ comments, and emphasises the impact Pūao-te-Āta-tū had on Māori social work practice methods (Hollis, 2006).
INTRODUCTION: The meaning and purpose of social work has always been debated within the social work profession. The profession dreams of contributing towards a better, fairer, civil society locally and internationally. This article explores the professionalisation of social work in Aotearoa New Zealand. This exploration has been undertaken as background for an ongoing research project.METHOD: A critical consideration of the different theoretical and historical dimensions and interests at work that impacted on the journey of professionalisation of social work in this country has been undertaken based on a review of literature. Part one of the article outlines a definition of social work, and different concepts and approaches to professionalisation. Part two of the article contextualises the different approaches to professionalisation within Aotearoa New Zealand, from early forms of welfare pre-colonisation up until the early 1990s.CONCLUSION: The literature and trends discussed serve to both document the history of professionalisation of social work in Aotearoa New Zealand and as background to an ongoing critical research project which aims to uncover interests at work and interrogate the legitimacy of those interests, while enabling the voices of key actors from the time to surface, be explored, and be recorded.
INTRODUCTION: The Care of Children Act 2004 reformed the law of child guardianship in Aotearoa New Zealand. However, it did not result in any special legal standing for grandparents seeking contact with their grandchildren, so as to ensure their continued presence in a grandchild’s life following a relationship breakdown, or where contact is resisted.METHODS: Non-doctrinal policy law research methods were used to analyse policies that were relied upon during the law’s promulgation, impacts of the law since its enactment, and associated issues that have arisen in its application by practitioners. Litigation to date involving grandparental rights of contact was studied, using Lexis Nexis Westlaw New Zealand, including its family law suite of searchable databases.FINDINGS: The research revealed a number of processes available under the Care of Children Act and associated family law legislation which may be helpful to grandparents who seek contact with grandchildren. However, none of them resolve the central issue of lack of legal standing, which continues to be an important impediment for grandparents who seek assurance of continuing contact with their grandchildren following family breakdown.CONCLUSIONS: Examples of law changes which have occurred in other jurisdictions, notably Canada, are offered in support of reform of the Care of Children Act, which would bring Aotearoa New Zealand more in line with other, more progressive countries in its treatment of grandparent/grandchild relationships.
INTRODUCTION: This article describes a subset of data relating to the term “Child Youth and Family” from a media analysis of two major Aotearoa New Zealand newspapers from 2008 to 2012 and reports on the major themes emerging from a qualitative analysis of these articles.METHODS: A search was conducted within the online versions of the New Zealand Herald and the Otago Daily Times for the years 2008 to 2012 on the search terms: “social work,” “social worker” and “child youth and family.” A qualitative thematic analysis of 1,512 articles within the data set “child youth and family” was conducted.FINDINGS: Child Youth and Family (CYF) content overwhelmingly made up the largest sub-set of the data and within that subset, the reporting was principally related to crime and abuse. Social workers were seen mainly as receivers of referrals and of removing children and placing them in “care.” There was little mention of intervention or treatment. There were many reports of the ways things went badly in the process, and at those times social workers were reportedly at the forefront. CONCLUSION: The CYF content presents a limited view of social work, with potential implications for the scope of social work practice being limited to removal of children, and a reduction in the acknowledgement of the wider scope of treatment and intervention. There is also an emphasis on criticism of social workers when children are the victims of violence that occurs within a wider socio-political context.
At 12.51pm on February 22nd 2011 a powerful 6.3 magnitude earthquake hit the city of Christchurch. Over 180 people were killed and hundreds more were injured. Christchurch was still in the process of recovering from a 7.1 magnitude pre-dawn earthquake which had struck on Saturday 4th September 2010. In the first earthquake there was significant damage to buildings and the city’s infrastructure, but fortunately no loss of life. In contrast the earthquake of the 22nd February, although lower in magnitude, was shallower, centred closer to the city and struck at lunchtime on a working day, with devastating effect.
The February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch caused damage to infrastructure which made it impossible for people with end stage renal failure to have haemodialysis treatment in Christchurch for an undetermined period. Guided by the National Civil Defence Emergency Management Plan (Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management, 2009) and the National Health Emergency Plan (Ministry of Health, 2008), the National Emergency Response Team decided to transfer dialysis-dependent people out of Christchurch to the Northern District Health Board.This article discusses the links between social work and emergency preparedness and emergency responsiveness and the role of social workers before and immediately after disasters. It will provide a practitioner’s view of the planning, preparation and social work intervention to support identified acute psychosocial needs for the group of haemodialysis patients evacuated from Christchurch to Whangarei following this earthquake, with particular focus on emotional and psychological stress, isolation and financial resources.The evacuated Christchurch patients expressed feeling as if they were being sent to ‘the end of the earth’. This article will reflect on issues of resilience, group dynamics, the role of social workers with evacuees, managing media and community boundaries, and social worker’s self care.
INTRODUCTION: The Vulnerable Children (VC) Act 2014 amended section 13 (s13) of the Children, Young Persons and their Families (CYP&tF) Act 1989 to re-emphasise the principle that the welfare and interests of the child should be the paramount consideration in child protection proceedings. This study examines the policy process behind the amendment, and investigates its possible implications, in particular its impact on the power relationship between the state and family/whanau.METHOD: Data was collected from semi-structured, confidential interviews with 10 key informants. Key themes were identified using thematic analysis. This was supplemented by document analysis of published and unpublished government papers, consultation papers and local and international research.FINDINGS: The policy process that preceded the decision to amend s13 of the CYP&tF Act was controlled by a small policy elite that failed to consult broadly on either the need for the amendment, or its impact on vulnerable children and families. Government gave little consideration to the implications of the policy change, and the policy process used to develop the amendment lacked the characteristics of rational, comprehensive, policy development. No evaluation or monitoring of the policy change has been put in place, despite the known risk that it may result in an increase in unnecessary removals of children from their families/whanau.CONCLUSION: The s13 amendment, while appearing minor, has significant implications for vulnerable children and families and is part of a fundamental re-balancing of power relations in New Zealand’s child welfare policy.
The 50th anniversary has provided an opportunity to reflect on the social work profession – where we have come from and where we are going. These reflections led me to two thoughts – are social workers leaders or followers in social change? And considering the change in our practice over the past 50 years, what might future social workers think of our current practice?
This paper reports on a grounded theory study involving eight practitioners; four supervisees and four supervisors took part in individual interviews and two separate focus groups.The core finding of the research is that multiple holding is needed to provide adequate support for professionals working with trauma and abuse. Multiple holding is a term for the processes practitioners can use to enable them to remain working in the field of trauma and abuse and includes relational supervision, knowledge and skills and the use of resources outside the supervision relationship. The identified outside resources are: spirituality; personal therapy; collegiality; and training specific to trauma and abuse. Supervisors need to be part of a chain of holding where they in turn are held by their own supervisors, who, in turn, in an ongoing sequence, are also held in a chain of supervision and holding. Being able to choose a supervisor was found to be important to build a high level of trust in the supervisee/supervisor relationship.
This article reports a qualitative study which explores sexual abuse counsellors’ theories for practice and how they say they develop and use an array of theoretical approaches to support their well-being and clinical effectiveness over time. Half the sample of Accident Compensation Commission (ACC) registered therapists were social workers who subsequently trained in other professions such as counselling and psychotherapy. The findings suggest that social workers who engage with traumatic disclosures from their clients actively evolve strategies and resources that act to buffer the more negative effects of the work with sexual abuse survivors, which is a means of ameliorating vicarious traumatisation.Whilst there was little theory specific to trauma work in the early 1980s when the research participants were practising, they developed a framework for their practice based in practice and personal experiences. These developed insights and reference to diverse strands of theory together constitute a framework for practice that assists the counsellors’ in their understanding of their clients, the dynamics of the therapeutic relationship, organisational constraints on funding that surround their work, and their own self care. The theoretical frameworks that the participants preferred to use derive from social justice principles, feminist, narrative theories and the ‘New Trauma Therapy’ (Coffey 1998). Recommendations for clinician self care in dealing with traumatic disclosures with reference to a range of theoretical approaches are suggested.
INTRODUCTION: Given recent legislative changes to the child welfare system in Aotearoa New Zealand, it was deemed timely to examine the challenges faced by school-based social workers and other school professionals in responding to child abuse and neglect (CAN).METHOD: A qualitative study of school professionals’ responses to CAN included 20 semistructured interviews with school-based social workers. The participants were asked to describe two things that, from their perspective, would improve schools’ responses to CAN. This article reports on this aspect of the study.FINDINGS: Four main themes were identified in social workers’ responses: the necessity for improved training for teachers on CAN; better support for teachers; a more holistic approach to child wellbeing; and enhanced understanding of child welfare.IMPLICATIONS: These findings pose challenges to both initial teacher education and crossagency child protection. School social workers use their relationship skills and knowledge to act as bridges between teacher education, school leaders, teachers and the Ministry for Children Oranga Tamariki and believe they can do more.
The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the prevalence and associated factors of elder abuse in a representative sample of older people in Aotearoa New Zealand. Analysis was conducted on responses from the second wave of the New Zealand Longitu- dinal Study of Ageing (NZLSA) omnibus survey of 3,923 adults aged 50-87 years. Using the elder mistreatment screening questions, the sample was split between those who identified of having experienced elder abuse (n = 529) and those who did not (n = 2417) from a large population-based study to compare on 19 variables (i.e. age, gender, marital status, living arrangement, education levels, ethnicity, personal income, total number of health conditions, physical health, mental health, ability to get around, economic wellbeing, loneliness, social and emotional loneliness, depression, happiness, satisfaction with life and quality of life). Significant differences were found on 16 of the variables assessed. Results suggested that those who have experienced elder abuse had a higher level of loneliness and poor economic wellbeing. They were more likely to experience depression, have poorer mental health and be less happy. The experience of abuse had significant impact on their satisfaction with life and overall quality of life. A better understanding of these risk factors associated with elder abuse in aging population will assist with both prevention and intervention.
The Amendment Act (Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act, 2007) came into force on 22 June 2007. The changes in the Act amended the right of parents to use force by way of correction toward a child. The purpose of this amendment was to provide children with a safer and more secure environment to live in that is free from violence. Such a move also has the potential to provide a clearer mandate for social workers in regard to issues of child safety. While planned, reviews to determine how effective the amendment has been have not yet been undertaken.This paper presents some key findings from a larger study exploring the issue of child abuse deaths in New Zealand. In doing so a comparison of legislation and policy between New Zealand and Sweden is presented. Sweden was used as the main focus for this comparison as it introduced a ban on use of corporal punishment of children in 1979.
Human service responses to sexual abuse perpetrated by young people are often extensive and expensive, and yet many aspects of these responses remain contentious. In 2007, as members of Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW), we prepared a submission to the Social Services Committee for the Inquiry into the Care and Rehabilitation of Youth Sex Offenders. This paper expands on points made in the ANZASW submission, with a particular focus on availability of suitable residential placements for young men who have sexually abused. The paper then considers issues relevant to reintegration of these youth into the community following a period in residential placement.
This issue of the journal marks a new stage in the continuing journey of Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work: this is our first open access issue and all journal content will now be freely available to anyone in the world from our new journal website (http://anzswjournal.nz). By taking this step we are contributing to a worldwide open access movement and to the foundation of an intellectual commons where the fruits of academic labour are available to all.
INTRODUCTION: According to Census 2013, approximately 25% of Auckland’s population is Asian, with the majority of these being Chinese. Given that Aotearoa New Zealand’s population is ageing, it can be expected that there will a significant demand for aged services for Chinese older adults in our local community in the future. Exploring the language barrier encountered by retired and aged (65+) Chinese migrants living in Auckland is needed.METHOD: Two focus groups were interviewed with retired Chinese migrants (group 1) and local social service practitioners (group 2). The focus group topics included the living experience of Chinese migrants in Auckland in Aotearoa New Zealand, while local social service practitioners reported their daily work experience of serving Chinese older adults. A short, warm-up, oral questionnaire stimulated discussion in each group. Data analysis was used to identify themes and draw tentative conclusions about the needs of older migrants and suggest how local aged- services providers could better serve retired Chinese migrants.FINDINGS: Language barriers and transportation problems were commonly agreed to be obstacles that hindered retired Chinese migrants accessing social support and health services. More input was needed to improve their general English language proficiency to facilitate their daily lives and participation in social life in Aotearoa New Zealand.IMPLICATIONS: Findings from the research have the potential to be an important resource for local social service practitioners, giving them a better understanding of older Chinese people.
This article discusses a new initiative within the Emergency Department and the wider Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland, namely a Social Work Alert System (SWAS) that enhances delivery of quality care for patients. The SWAS is defined as a social work process that identifies patients who may be at risk due to past or present circumstances so that they may be reviewed and psychosocially assessed by a social worker. For the purposes of this article, a scenario is used to illustrate how the SWAS operates involving a pregnant mother who came to hospital through the Emergency Department.
This article examines and proposes a social work response to the Ministry of Social Development’s Community Investment Strategy social policy. Beddoe and Maidment’s (2009) critical intersections model is utilised for this purpose and critical reference is made to the Productivity Commission’s (2015) policy-framing report More Effective Social Services. The details of the Community Investment Strategy are discussed in relation to service user perspectives, critical social theory, social justice and the role of the social work profession. The resulting analysis highlights that, if left unchecked, the Community Investment Strategy may do harm to those it purports to help. In particular, the Strategy promotes the Ministry of Social Development’s agenda at the expense of those who need to access social services. The suggested social work response is actively anti-oppressive in promoting social justice and placing the service user at the centre of social work practice.
Neoliberalism is not kind to vulnerable populations. Care leavers as a vulnerable population have faired particularly poorly under successive governments. Policy and practice have maintained a position for decades in New Zealand where care leavers are responsible entirely for their own lives at the age of seventeen. This article reviews current literature, locally and internationally, in order to identify the needs of care leavers in the New Zealand context. It will question what is working already, what works elsewhere and how we might change the outcomes for these young people who have not chosen this path and yet appear to be punished through the government turning a blind eye
Education and knowledge have always been prized life quests for Chinese. The question however, is whether Western-style mental health education is acceptable to Chinese mental health consumers and whether it is useful in improving their knowledge and understanding of mental health and the process of recovery. Whilst there has been a plethora of psychoeducational material published, most offer passive learning or require little educator/learner interaction, let alone active participation.The aim of this paper is to present a pilot research on the acceptability, the applicability and the effectiveness of the Western concept of mental health recovery including the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) programme in improving the effectiveness of recovery among the members of Bo Ai She (BAS), a Chinese mental health consumers’ self-help organisation in New Zealand.Qualitative research methods were used to undertake this research. Eight members of BAS and three professional mental health workers were interviewed, and proceedings from discussions in two focus groups comprising consumers and their family members have been included to form the data base.Key findings from this research affirmed that the WRAP programme has played a significant role in recovery for Chinese consumers in BAS. The results also suggested areas which needed to be modified in order to become a cultural-appropriate programme in Chinese mental health consumers’ recovery.
This lead article in our vintage issue of Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work journal follows our professional journal from its launch in 1965, through several name changes, physical manifestations and numerous editorships, to the present day. Continuity and change are the themes we focus on, together with tenacity and adaptability. We briefly introduce the concept of content analysis as a tool for exploring the story of our journals and thus the Association’s history, and end with reflective questions for the future.
INTRODUCTION: Social work as a profession is underpinned by ideas of social justice and human rights, and that social workers have an ethical obligation to uphold these ideas. Social workers have a history of engagement in non-violent social justice activism (NVSJA), and a proud record of achieving social change in Aotearoa New Zealand. However, having a criminal conviction for engaging in NVSJA can be a barrier to social work registration in Aotearoa New Zealand.APPROACH: An exploration of current research around NVSJA and social work registration was conducted. Along with an examination of the Social Workers Registration Board’s (SWRB’s) Fit and Proper Person Policy Statement, with a consideration on the reporting of acts of NVSJA and social workers by the media.CONCLUSION: Those who engage in NVSJA are often likely to gain criminal convictions. This creates a potential barrier for social workers who go beyond the rhetoric and fight for social justice, in a macro and practical sense, from gaining registration. This has become additionally important since the Social Workers Registration Legislation Act (2019) passed and with registration becoming mandatory two years after the Act gained royal assent. There is a need for a change to the Fit and Proper Person Policy Statement so that the SWRB is better able to support social workers who are standing for what social work is all about, or at least, what social work is stated to be all about.