NZ meaning of Social Work

Old Apr 25th 2009, 12:41 pm
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Default NZ meaning of Social Work

I have a Degree in Health and Social Care and work for a family support charity. I am hoping to use my 10 years experience of family support work to apply under the category of Social Worker. I have seen several NZ jobs advertised as family worker/social worker. Is the definition of a social worker looser in NZ?
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Old Apr 25th 2009, 1:34 pm
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Default Re: NZ meaning of Social Work

Originally Posted by joeysfriends View Post
I have a Degree in Health and Social Care and work for a family support charity. I am hoping to use my 10 years experience of family support work to apply under the category of Social Worker. I have seen several NZ jobs advertised as family worker/social worker. Is the definition of a social worker looser in NZ?
Hi there,

There are two levels of social work qualification in NZ, Level A and Level B. Can't remember for the life of me which is which (I should I qualified in NZ, but work in London) but a University degree should be transferred. However on top of my three year degree I had to complete a post graduate degree year to qualify to work as a social worker in NZ. There are ways around this, i.e training on the job but to be honest this is mostly for workers who have been working as social workers for a LONG time and who don't really want/need?? to go back to University. Different consideration is given for people who also work within Maori communities.
Look at these websites for some further info;
www.anzasw.org.nz registration body for social workers
www.cyf.govt.nz main employer of social workers in NZ

It is vitally important that you research and know about The Treaty of Waitangi and how this affects NZ both in terms of historical relevance and the impact today. We have a fairly strong parallel development service in NZ, where there are different services for pakeha (all other than Maori) and services directed at Maori clients. There are also services aimed at say Pacific Islanders etc.

NZ per capita has some of the highest incidents of child abuse in the world, there are some scary statistics. Google Jhia Te Tua and Chris and Cru Kahui for two high profile and very sad examples.

Not trying to put you off, but I am a social worker in London (inc child protection) and I am thinking of returning home and it is unlikely that I would work as a social worker there especially in the North Island. Do your research and you should be fine.

Goodluck.
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Old Apr 25th 2009, 2:21 pm
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Default Re: NZ meaning of Social Work

You will have to know about The Treaty of Waitangi both in a historical context and what it means for NZ today. This is vital, it is unlikely you would get a job without some knowledge. The CYF site has info on this I think.

Be careful about where you look at jobs in terms of location. Generally the further up the North Island you go the more difficult it could being an English social worker. As you may be aware Auckland (our mostly populated city) is at the top of the North Island. It will depend on your job really but you will have more choice in Auckland, just do plenty of research about the area you will be working in. You should be aware of the gang problems in NZ, again mostly in the North Island. If you work in child protection/family support you will come into contact with gangs/gang members and you need to realise that NZ works in a VERY different way to the UK system. Both have very good points, both have very bad points.

NZ has some of the worst child abuse statistics in the developed world, sad but true. Jhia Te Tua is gang related. These issues do not affect most NZ'ers but as a social worker you are likely to be working with people like this.

I work as a social worker in London (child protection and now adoption) and I would seriously have to consider EVER working at home. The pay is pretty crap for what you put up with, whereas here I think pay is pretty good compared to other occupations (although I could always do with more money).

Just make sure you put in lots of research and I am sure you will be fine.

Hope that helps.

Last edited by Am Loolah; Apr 25th 2009 at 9:46 pm. Reason: Just tidying up additional reply
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Old Apr 26th 2009, 9:44 am
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Default Re: NZ meaning of Social Work

Originally Posted by dannigirl View Post
You will have to know about The Treaty of Waitangi both in a historical context and what it means for NZ today. This is vital, it is unlikely you would get a job without some knowledge. The CYF site has info on this I think.

Be careful about where you look at jobs in terms of location. Generally the further up the North Island you go the more difficult it could being an English social worker. As you may be aware Auckland (our mostly populated city) is at the top of the North Island. It will depend on your job really but you will have more choice in Auckland, just do plenty of research about the area you will be working in. You should be aware of the gang problems in NZ, again mostly in the North Island. If you work in child protection/family support you will come into contact with gangs/gang members and you need to realise that NZ works in a VERY different way to the UK system. Both have very good points, both have very bad points.

NZ has some of the worst child abuse statistics in the developed world, sad but true. Jhia Te Tua is gang related. These issues do not affect most NZ'ers but as a social worker you are likely to be working with people like this.

I work as a social worker in London (child protection and now adoption) and I would seriously have to consider EVER working at home. The pay is pretty crap for what you put up with, whereas here I think pay is pretty good compared to other occupations (although I could always do with more money).

Just make sure you put in lots of research and I am sure you will be fine.

Hope that helps.
Many thanks for your reply. Watch this space!
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