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Realising oranga tamariki

Julian Reweti and Chelsea Te Terenga are Care and Protection social workers in Whangarei. 

They help ensure tamariki are safe and support whānau to make positive decisions for their wellbeing. 

This is their whakaaro and message for National Social Workers Day. 

Published on
24 Sep 2019
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Julian and Chelsea

Why did you become a social worker?

Julian

"I had a challenging upbringing, and it wasn’t until I learnt my own whakapapa that I could see that I come from a number of people who were leaders in their communities and demonstrated great manaakitanga. This encouraged me to use my knowledge and life experience to take on a role as a social worker."

Chelsea

"Becoming a social worker was a natural progression for me. I had a marae upbringing which enabled me to form a deep connection and understanding of my role and responsibility to support my whanau, hapū, iwi, and also the wider community of Aotearoa whānui."

What's the most rewarding part of being a social worker?

Chelsea

"I love seeing our whānau in a happy space where they are thriving, and when they are understanding the importance to look after each other, love one another, be kind to each other and keep each other safe.

"I also enjoy having the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to our kaupapa of realising the oranga of tamariki and whānau."

What's the most challenging part of being a social worker?

Julian

"Understanding that oranga is a journey, and there will be ups and downs, highs and lows. Every day is unpredictable, and one of the challenges is to never give up on our whānau."

Chelsea

"We don’t always have the information to give ourselves a full picture of what is happening for our tamariki and whānau. This leaves us in a vulnerable position as kaimahi because we have the responsibility to keep tamariki and whānau safe, but we also have to keep ourselves safe."

Why did you join Oranga Tamariki?

Julian

"I believe in the changes Oranga Tamariki is implementing and how those changes can have long-term positive effects for whānau. I can assist the organisation to better understand te ao Māori and work with other cultures."

Chelsea

"Our name aligns with my own value system of whakapono, tumanako and aroha - to believe, aspire and love. With a background in tamariki ora and whānau ora, I knew I could work within the Oranga Tamariki kaupapa to support whānau to realise their potential."

What are your aspirations for Oranga Tamariki?

Julian

"There will be no need for an Oranga Tamariki in the future because all our children will be safe, and our communities will be happy and vibrant. But my aspirations for the organisation now is to better understand how to work with Māori families and tamariki."

What's your message to other social workers?

Chelsea

"Stay amazing! Thank you so much for your contribution to our tamariki and whānau.

"Nā tō rourou, nā taku ka ora ai tatou te iwi - with your food basket and mine, our people will thrive.

"Ngā manaakitanga ki runga i a tātou katoa."

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