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Social worker's complicated questions

Social worker's complicated questions

Old Mar 18th 2011, 12:15 pm
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Default Social worker's complicated questions

Hi All,

New to the forum so I will start with an introduction.
I am a Child Protection Social and now 51 years, young.
Married with two children, Ruth 23 and well settled living with her boyfriend and Isaac nearly 18 an apprentice Welder.
The wives brother lives in Nelson and has done for over 35 years.
I have wanted to live in NZ for years and what with this and that never made it thus far.
Been through a journey to get this far (as we all have) sold my first Gym in 1991 and we could of landed in NZ with a fare few quid. My wife would not go as both her parents were alive. Her mother as did mine died the next year, her father who was 91 only died last year and this was another reason she would not go. Started another gym and ended up going bust, loosing the house etc, so any plans were put on hold.
Ended up working in children's homes and after we started to come back from bankruptcy, dreams started again. I went to Uni, via the distance part-time route when I was 41 with one eye on making the dream possible.
Shortly before I was qualified we visited her brother and hey, heaven was laid before me.
Whilst the wife loved it she would not go and we decided to wait until Isaac had finished school at 16. Her dad was still alive and what with one thing and another we did not start the application process. I had by this time moved into field social work partly to open up more potential doors in NZ and also as during our visit I was amazed to find out NZ does not have many children's homes (being far more progressive than the UK and another reason why I want to practice and continue to work with kids). I was at the time of our visit an Acting manager of a Children's home.
Anyway to now my wife had worked hard and despite her lack of confidence, she had moved up in the NHS and she was a Health Promotions manager, that is until our latest government decided to take up were Thatcher had left off and she was made redundant shortly after Christmas. Now who would of ever thought it my job is at risk and they are reducing Social workers.
Very much a now or never time to quite the UK and move.
My wife whilst still being fightened (her words) now sees that we should of gone over years ago.(I think!)
I plan to take my redundancy ( not that much) and come over and work hopefully for the agencies. My thinking behind this is that the agencies generally pay more, this will alow me to live on my own until my wife comes over in a couple of years. She now say's she is torn and does not want to leave Isaac, I can assure you that I don't want to leave her or my children.
Only that their is a good chance I will lose my job in the next couple of years anyway and part of my reasoning is that I want my children and one day hopefully Grandchildren to have opportunities and the quality of life that the working classes in England will never have.
The other part of my thinking is that by working for the agencies I will experience a wide variety of Social work, learn and then be better able to see were my skills and value is best directed.
Also whilst we travelled a bit around South Island my wife has previously said that she would only want to live in sunny expensive, few vacancies Nelson and I don't really care were I live whilst working temp and looking around.

So finally to questions:
Can I get a work visa without a firm job offer, i.e registered with several agencies?

Would it be better to apply for Family residency now?
My wife has always wanted me to go and try it, but she now admits that what she really meant was to know it was safe, so I am not sure if she would agree to this now.

By checking out the on-line points scores as a family, my SW qualification, sponsorship from her brother etc. (medicals withstanding) We score sort of can you come on Monday.
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Old Mar 18th 2011, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Social worker's complicated questions

Hi, social workers are definitely in demand so should be no problems getting a job but you have to be aware of salary issues in NZ and cost of living. It is not at all like the UK in terms of SW salary scales or lots of agencies competing for workers. I worked full time in NZ as a senior social worker in NZ and couldn't support 2 adults on my wages, and I'm aware salaries have not increased in a number of years. Not trying to put you off at all, as it is a really beautiful place and many people settle really well but please do your research and your maths thoroughly. Find out exactly what you are likely to be paid..as NZ employers are generally not up front in this regard as other countries are. Negotiate if you can.
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Old Mar 18th 2011, 6:40 pm
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Default Re: Social worker's complicated questions

Yer I know that wages are not what they are in the UK.
My understanding is that for Government job's you can go to a salaries board and they set your salary based on years in the job, experiance etc. So it would not be a case of starting on the lowest scale.
That said if I don't take voluntary redundancy there is a small chance that I could be made redundant anyway and be without any wages. I am also a union steward and the budget for CYPS in Hull is being cut nearly in half, they are looking to reduce the number of SW's by 60 out of a total of about 300. Most if not all of our support services have been cut or had there funding savaged. They are cutting over 700 jobs in CYPS. All this in the city that can proudly boast of being at the bottom of every league table for social deprevation there is. The hardest job in the world is about to get harder and my case load is set to triple. I can not imagine that anything I had to deal with in NZ would be any worse than it is in Hull.
I have no doubt that within a couple of years there will be next to no SW's in Hull and those that are left will have had their wages reduced anyway.


If we both go, it will be with enough money from our redundancies and house sale to have next to no mortgage, on a modest house so what we need to earn each week should a lot less than we have to earn now.

I like the idea of eventually being able to move to a place with a bit of land, currently in the UK I would be lucky to down size to a shed in the country.
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Old Mar 18th 2011, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Social worker's complicated questions

HI Paul, just for info CYF over here dont tend to use agencie worker like they do in the uk, and to my knowledge there is only one strickly SW agencie covering the whole of NZ. It is extreamly rare for temp social worker to be used and currently CYF are looking at setting up their own pool of SW which will be paid the same rate. Saleries for residential homes althought their arnt many tend to be on the lower end of the scale here also, and community SW for NGO's like Banadoes or open home foundation tend to be paid less thatn $40,000 pa!
However that said its a beautiful place to live and great for young children, many of the SW issues are the same, but the practice is very different. Pm me if you need any more info
Jacki
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Old Mar 18th 2011, 11:01 pm
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Default Re: Social worker's complicated questions

Hi Paul,

My ex works at a kind of young offenders institute and they always have vacancies. You'll find a qualified salary around the $40,000 - $60,000 pa.

Have a look at the CYFS website for current vacancies.
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Old Mar 25th 2011, 11:25 am
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Default Re: Social worker's complicated questions

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
Hi Paul,

My ex works at a kind of young offenders institute and they always have vacancies. You'll find a qualified salary around the $40,000 - $60,000 pa.

Have a look at the CYFS website for current vacancies.
Hi Paul I asked lots of questions about being a social worker to. If you look at some of my posts there is a lot of useful info provided by a lot of kind people. I can give you the info for the agency if you want it. I did register with them ages ago but now they want a fare few pence to do it now which has put me off a bit. But they are the only ones with their foot in the door for swrs. Other than checking jobs websites they appear to be the only option. You have to register with Swrb once in nz. I won't repeat info as there is loads on the forum but I'm happy to share as much info as I've got if it helps.
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Old Mar 28th 2011, 12:21 am
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Default Re: Social worker's complicated questions

Hi Paul

I arrived here(aged 56 at that time- final cut off age) almost two years ago on a PR but under my husband's application. We came because it was on our 'bucket' list.

I work with other social workers who arrived in the last year as the main applicant for PR. According to them, they could not get interviews for jobs unless they were in their final months of receiving their visa.

I work for a health board as a social worker. My DipSW is recognised here, but I do not have NZSW registration yet because it is still not mandatory at this time, (although my DHB did insist all workers become registered last year and I believe some employers insist on having registration before employing you). I came here with 18 years experience and am salaried accordingly at level 5. I earn £13 UK per hour. I was told at interview I would receive an increment each year, but at my yearly appraisal was advised I would not receive it without meeting new competencies. You have to set them for one year ahead, then if your boss agrees you have met them at the end of that year, you receive your back dated increment. If you leave within that year....tough. Perhaps that is just DBH policy where I work.

One colleague who came here with her hubby and two children is planning to jump the ditch already as they cannot afford to live here anymore. I know I personally feel as if my standard of living has gone back 18yrs.

Obviously my experience is subjective, and I am sure it will be different in other regions, as well as with other employers, including CYF.

Please continue to do your homework before coming here. Otherwise you might have years of earache from your wife. She needs to be 100% committed too otherwise you are on an immediate disadvantage.
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Old Mar 28th 2011, 7:04 am
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Default Re: Social worker's complicated questions

Do you know my whanau in Hull, Dave King and Biddy King (nee Gerrard)?
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Old Mar 28th 2011, 11:01 am
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Default Re: Social worker's complicated questions

Hi Paul

Have a look at the New Zealand Social Work Registration Board website - whilst registration is currently not compulsary it is moving this way & there are also additional competencies to meet. Look at Scousebirds threads as I put info there.

CCTESW qualifications recognised by NZSWRB but you still have to go through hoops & costs ( all on website)

The better paid jobs are with DHB's ( district health boards) but many require registration and CYF ( child youth & family) . Youth Justice is growing here as well so look on govt websites, easy to google.

SEEK and Trade Me have jobs advertised and try ZEST4Life ( a number of DHB posts here).

There are community & voluntary sector but the pay isnt great and will be a LOT less than you are on now - be prepared.

Personally speaking its the best move we ever made - the pay is bobbins, the issues the same BUT the lifetsyle is in our experience fabulous.

Happy to help further if needed.
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