A return to the “good old days”: Back to the future of Aotearoa New Zealand social services

The holiday mood is a seductive one, with its many competing discourses of hope, indulgence, generosity and belonging. We don rose coloured glasses to look back at our successes and dare to keep them on while looking forward. We fully expect that in the next few weeks, when our toes are firmly in the sand and our rosy glasses are at their most glorious tint, we will receive the promised report of the CYF ‘overhaul.’ This seasonal blog post is in anticipation of this. It is written by Bobby Bryan, a new social work academic at Te Kuritini o Waikato (Wintec).  Bobby has worked for Child Youth and Family, the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Ministry of Health, Department of Corrections, non-government Youth Health Services, Kaupapa Māori family violence services, and as a social services consultant.   He looks back on the good times of social services in Aotearoa New Zealand with the hope that the memory of these will provide strength for social workers and for Child Youth and Family in 2016.

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The Family Group Conference: Culturally adaptable solution, or neocolonial imposition?

This guest blog post by Paora Moyle, a doctoral candidate at Massey University, introduces the background to her recent research into claims made about the Family Group Conference (FGC). Lauded by academics across the world as a culturally responsive solution to the needs of indigenous peoples, Paora’s research calls into questions the myths about FGCs in Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad.

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Talking my walk from the inside out: An indigenous practitioners view of child protection in Aotearoa

This guest blog post is by Paora Moyle. Paora is a PhD candidate at Massey University investigating the operation of Family Group Conferencing (FGC). FGC was introduced into the New Zealand child protection and youth justice system by the Children Young Persons, and Their Families Act 1989, partly in response to a strong Māori critique of the overwhelming overrepresentation of Māori family/whānau in the child protection and youth justice system. Paora’s personal experience, and her emerging research findings, suggest that all is not well with this internationally acclaimed approach to culturally responsive social work practice.

Paora’s research into this topic led her to engage in several awareness raising activities in Facebook and other social media, including a series of Youtube videos. At the bottom of this post you will find a link to a crowdfunding site inviting you to offer practical support to Paora’s research and work with whānau.

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Child, youth and family:  A review of reviews through the lens of cultural responsiveness

The guest blog post is by Miriama Scott no Ngati Kahungunu, Rangitane a member of the Tangata Whenua Social Workers Association, currently working as Maori Cultural and Clinical Liaison, Mauri Oho, Whirinaki, Counties Manukau District Health Board.

Miriama’s post comments on the recent history of Child, Youth and Family policy reviews. She highlights key aspects of previous reviews by extracting statements referring the need for cultural responsiveness to Māori whānau and mokopuna. Miriama challenges the current ‘Expert Panel’ to address the historic failures of prior policy statements.

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Speaking out: A view of state care from an ex-State Ward

In the video below Paora Moyle offers a Māori practitioner’s view on state care in Aotearoa New Zealand with the added dimension of her own experience as a state care ward. This is a moving account of Paora’s experience of state care and how it has motivated her to embark on her PhD research journey. To find out more about Paora’s research you can participate in the ANZASW webinar on Thursday 14th May 2015 at 1.00pm: Māori-lived experiences of the care and protection FGC in Aotearoa.