Changing our social work practice

Published: May 8, 2017

Over the next few weeks a critical part of our transformation moves to the next stage as we continue to develop our practice framework.

This includes thinking a lot about the inter-agency work that we do with our government partners but more than that, how we are partnering with iwi and our other community and NGO stakeholders

Chief Social Worker Paul Nixon whose team is leading this work

Key influences

There are a number of key influences that shape the way we will practice:

  •  being child-centred and making sure our work focuses on the long term outcomes for children
  • making sure our work is culturally responsive to help reduce the over representation of Māori and Pacific children and young people
  • understanding the impact of adverse life experiences for children and addressing those issues
     engaging a wide range of agencies
  • using research and evidence to help us understand the most effective interventions and services for children.

“So this means integrating all these key elements together into a single practice framework. These are the key building blocks or influences that will shape the way we think about practice," says Paul Nixon.

“In the past we’ve tended to focus on the immediate safety or the immediate issues. The big shift for us is to sustain our involvement and sustain our work so we improve and lift children’s lives over time.”

A first phase

In this first phase we’re developing a spine of practice, a core of practice - the things we must do for every child who comes to Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki for help. In the coming years as our core services are developed we’ll go into more detail about how we deliver our practice around care, transitions, youth justice, prevention and early interventions family support.

We know we can't do this alone. We need to make sure the system we design supports our work, and working together with our external partners is crucial to getting there.