The big questions I have about the proposed reviews, on the basis of what we have so far are: will government invest generously (or even adequately ) in the social services workforce? Will they take social workers with them in the planning for the new services? Given the past record of poor investment and excluding social workers from the discussion I am very cynical. Especially about the lack of investment in us. Change without workforce development and proper planning won’t achieve what they want. The history of social work as a profession in Aotearoa New Zealand is one of deficits in real resources. We have heard talk from the minister this week about social work education and registration- ‘calls for social worker registration to become mandatory‘, but no detail. She’s had a year to think about it. We are waiting and ready to contribute our expertise.
Minister Tolley wants a social investment strategy – well invest in us ! And bring us to the table. And make it soon.