A guest post by Eileen Joy (PhD candidate, University of Auckland)
You’re a busy social worker…. you have a client, you are worried about them, they have missed two of their most recent appointments, in the past they have talked about suicide ideation and you know that their current living arrangement is precarious. You try texting them, there is no answer. You try phoning them, there is no answer. You try an email, and get no reply. You even might try visiting where they live, and nothing.
Continue reading Who is looking at you? Social media, the new assessment tool
A guest blog post by Amy Ross of the Social Workers Action Network (SWAN).
Some of you may be aware that a new Social Workers Registration Bill was tabled in the House on the 9th August 2017. This bill aims to move registration from voluntary to mandatory.
Why is this a call to action? Many organisations have been calling for increased recognition and professionalism for years. Indeed the intent was always to move to mandatory at some point. However it turns out that not all forms of registration are equal. The bill, in its current form, represents a major assault on social work and social workers and embeds long standing misunderstanding of and disrespect for social work as a unique and skilled profession.
Continue reading The Social Workers Registration Bill: A call to action!
A guest blog post by Alan Johnson.
The Government does not acknowledge that there is a housing crisis. This denial is most likely for reasons of framing – once it admits the frame of a crisis it will then need to accept the blame for it.
But for the people on the right side of the ownership divide, the housing market is not a crisis but a bonanza. These people have seen the value of the residential property assets rise by more than 60% during the term of this Government and if they own property in Auckland it has almost doubled.
Another reason why the Government won’t acknowledge the housing crisis is because its supporters – the property investors, speculators, landlords, developers as well middle class baby boomers – have benefited hugely. Furthermore, these gains have more or less been tax free.
Continue reading Thinking big about housing
A guest post by David Kenkel
Like many social workers, I’ve been following the debate about forcible data collection and the design of what look likely to be very interventionist approaches by the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children/Oranga Tamariki. I’ve wondered why a large proportion of New Zealand citizens apparently approve of strategies being applied to others they would hate to have applied to themselves? In thinking about this I’m drawn to the whakataukī: There, but for the grace of God, go I. I like this saying because it captures a vision of solidarity and community. It reminds me that the differences between my life and the lives of others are mostly to do with accidents of history. It’s a way of acknowledging that the good or bad fortune of ourselves and our neighbours are as much to do with the lottery of social circumstances, as our own individual efforts. In the aftermath of the Great Depression, I suspect it was a similar vision, that drove Michael Joseph Savage and the first Labour Government of New Zealand, to introduce the Social Security Act 1938, establishing the first social security system in the world (Silloway-Smith, 2010). The economic circumstances of the time made it clear that the wellbeing of each was inextricably linked to the wellbeing of all.
Continue reading Prospects for social work in Aotearoa New Zealand: Segmentation or solidarity?
The following is the response of the Re-Imagining Social Work Collective to the call for comments and suggestions by the New Zealand Social Workers Registration Board on their definition of ‘social work’ and proposed scope of practice.
Continue reading Who defines social work? In defence of the global definition
In a recent twitter storm (or perhaps more accurately, a surge) there was a great exchange of ideas between Aotearoa and UK social workers, lawyers and service user advocates on the topic of the term ‘disguised compliance’ in child protection. We say ‘surge’ because it was a powerful and constructive exchange rather than the sometimes personal, incoherent and bitter fights that can erupt in that forum.
Continue reading ‘Disguised compliance’ – innocent shorthand term or jargon hiding a powerful discourse?
By Elizabeth Stanley
Over the last few months, the NZ government has faced multiple demands for independent inquiries: to uncover alleged war crimes undertaken by NZ military forces against Afghani civilians, to acknowledge NZ women who were forced to have their new-borns adopted, and to understand the experiences of the thousands who endured abuse within NZ’s state care system. To all these victims, the government’s response has been ‘no’, ‘go away’.
Continue reading Supporting an inquiry into abuse in state care
By Amy Ross (Trade Union Organiser, PSA)
Tuesday’s post by John Darroch explored unionisation as a critical component of social workers being able to realise social change in a practical sense. As a union organiser, social worker and the convenor of the Social Worker Action Network (SWAN) within the Public Service Association (PSA) union this presents a useful opportunity to explore this idea further as well as to elaborate on what the PSA is doing with social workers across Aotearoa.
Continue reading Sisters in the struggle: Unions and social work
The RSW’s Ian Hyslop has appeared on a 95bFM podcast:
Poverty child, protection and the state: What needs to change?
Ian discusses the dominant narrative and some alternatives: social workers can advocate for political solutions and practice development that combats structural disadvantage and supports child and whānau centred practice. Have a listen – tell us what you think!
Image credit: Seb Lee-Delisle