Onboard newsletter – April 2022

Ka huri te kei o te waka ki te pae tawhiti
Kia hoe ngātahi ki te pae tata

Turn the waka towards your distant horizon
Let us make headway by paddling together as one

We begin this edition of OnBoard with celebration – last week our social work team was together in person in Te Whanganui-a-Tara, including our new recruits Dr David McNabb and Paula Bold-Wilson. They are contributing to the strength of the social worker voice within the SWRB, which we value, and which has continued to grow over the past year. You may recognise some of the faces in the photograph below.

All in the office at last – sector engagement social work team with SWRB Chief Executive, April 2022

David and Paula’s experience and energy have equipped them well as they have jumped straight into supporting our Education Programme Recognition Standards Review (PRS) as co-facilitators of the wānanga. Holding wānanga for people to attend virtually from around the motu has been so important for making sure many voices are heard. Feedback from those attending has been that the kōrero has been rich. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa, thank you to everyone who has taken time out of their busy calendars to support this valuable mahi.

After the quiet city centre with Omicron and Parliamentary protests we are enjoying seeing a return of people in the office. We are approaching a busy time of year for the SWRB. Planning is well underway for opening practising certificates renewals in May. We are also setting up a new portal for employers, making it easier for them to pay fees directly on behalf of their social workers (rather than people having to forward invoices, seek reimbursement, etc). This is one of the improvements we’ve been able to make with our new MySWRB database. We’ve also been working to iron out some of the glitches we experienced last year when MySWRB was launched for the first time. We’re encouraging everyone to log in ahead of time and make sure your details are up to date – including contact details and employer information. We expect hundreds of emails and phone calls to be made over the renewal period so now is a good time to check you can login.

A heads up that when you come to renew your practising certificate you will be asked to take part in our annual workforce survey. It’s still new territory for us to be lead agency for social worker workforce planning (government funded), but we are sharing workforce insights (like the survey on the demand for social work services) and getting positive feedback from policy and decision makers in the government and social services sector on these reports. We would not be able to tell the story of the challenges facing the sector without you providing information to us through the workforce survey; we really appreciate people taking part.

Although we may have passed the peak of the Omicron wave for now, communities and whānau remain under enormous pressure. We know the demands on social workers and support services remains relentless, but I do hope that you will be make some time to look after yourself in the coming days – whether over Easter or in remembrance on ANZAC day.

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui,

Sarah Clark

Practising Certificate renewals

As mentioned above, from early May, Social Workers will be able to renew their Practising Certificate for the 2022/2023 practising year. We encourage everyone to start logging in to their MySWRB accounts now to ensure that all their details are up to date, including contact and employer information.  

Annual Social Worker Workforce Survey

Similar to last year, Social Workers will be asked to participate in the Annual Social Worker Workforce Survey for 2022 when renewing their Practising Certificate. This is an important survey for the social work profession as it helps give us valuable insights into the workforce.

More than half of all practising social workers participated in the survey last year and created a strong voice for your profession. This year we are hoping for an even higher response rate. Your contribution really does make a difference.

The information given is compiled into reports and briefings which are used by the profession, employers, policy makers and Ministers. It supports their understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing social work and the social worker workforce.

Making fee payments easier for employers

The SWRB has set up a new employer portal, which will provide an easy way for employers to pay for registration and/or practising certificates on behalf of their employed social workers.

Employers can now opt-in to become an Authorised Employer, which means when applying for a practising certificate or registration, social workers will no longer need to manually submit a tax invoice to their employer, or personally make a payment and later seek reimbursement from their employer.

Becoming an Authorised Employer provides access our Employer Portal, which offers a number of benefits. Authorised Employers will be able to receive and pay a single consolidated invoice for their employed social worker fees, track employees’ registration, and practising certificate renewal status and more.

Additional information can be found on our website – swrb.govt.nz/authorised-employer.

Employers who would like to receive a consolidated invoice for their social workers’ practising certificate fees, should return their Authorised Employer contract to us by 22 April 2022. The template for this is available on the website and has been sent to employers directly.

Education – Programme Standards wānanga going strong

Sector engagement wānanga for the PRS review, April 2022

Ngā mihi maioha kia a koutou i runga i ēnei āhuatanga o te wā

Educators, tauira, employers, partners, sector and community groups from around Aotearoa have been joining virtual wānanga for the review of the Programme Recognition Standards (PRS).  The PRS set standards for social work qualifications for the tertiary institutes, which lead to registration. They are significant for the future of the social work workforce.

The six wānanga will provide hugely valuable feedback in the review process. So far, the wānanga have stimulated rich kōrero around where there needs to be a shift in the standards, especially in better meeting Te Tiriti principles and improving outcomes for Māori. An advisory ropū – including tangata whenua and tagata pasifika advisors – will give further consideration to the feedback from the wānanga.

The final wānanga takes place on Thursday 14 April so there may still be time to join in! The zoom link and details can be seen on the news post: Wānanga for the Programme Recognition Standards Review

Following the six wānanga, three caucus hui (tangata whenua, tagata pasifika and tangata tiriti) are planned for those who have attended the wānanga and who have signalled an interest in being part of the reference group consultation.

If you are interested in contributing you can read more on the website: Programme Recognition Standards Review 2022

Paula Bold-Wilson – newly appointed SWRB Senior Advisor Social Work Māori

E tū ana au i te tihi tapu o Matawhaura Ka kai aku mata ki ngā wai tapu o Rotoiti, Ki te kuku o te manawa, ki Rotorua I puta ai te kōrero; Te Arawa māngai nui e ko Te Ararwa e tū ake nei, E ko Ngāti Pikiao, ko Tuhaorangi e mihi atu nei. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa

My heart is in doing what I can for our people; enabling tamariki, rangatahi and whānau Māori to thrive. Where I can I try to inspire, educate, and collaborate to empower organisations to deliver and respond to Kaupapa Māori services that enhance outcomes for Māori communities. I’ve been involved in a range of Kaupapa Māori initiatives for 25 years or so, being a central voice on a range of boards in the education, community, and public sector. 

The community initiatives I’ve been part of have spanned national and local community development, through to grassroots social change. Working alongside diverse stakeholders, including non-Māori, ensures that culturally appropriate consultation is undertaken to ensure the aspirations of Mana Whenua, Mātāwaka and whānau Māori are understood.

Before joining the SWRB, I had the privilege of teaching students on the Bachelor of Social Practice at Unitec – a rewarding and fulfilling role. 

It is a really exciting time to join the SWRB, where I can see Te Tiriti in action. In my first weeks I have been involved in the Programme Recognition Standards review. I have been inspired by the beautiful kōrero of the wānanga and the sense that we might really be in a phase of transformation.

Other things I can tell you about me? I have eight children with my husband Grant, and they have gifted us with beautiful mokopuna.

The Wall Walk – experiencing our history

Pictured: (from top left) Dr Simone Bull – Wall Walk Facilitator, Shannon Pakura – SWRB Chair, Sarah Clark – SWRB Chief Executive, Caroline Herewini – Te Whare Tiaki Wāhine Refuge and member of the SWRB Kāhui.

Hoki whakamuri, kia anga whakamua
Look to the past to help forge the future

At the SWRB we are on a journey as we commit to developing our Māori capability as a Te Tiriti o Waitangi partner – a strand in ‘He Arapaki’, our Māori development strategy and action plan. One significant step on this path was the opportunity us to take part in the immersive experience that is ‘The Wall Walk’.  

As the Wall Walk website describes it: “Part theatre, part study, part kōrero, The Wall Walk® is an interactive half-day workshop designed to raise collective awareness of key events in the history of New Zealand’s bicultural relations. It sits nicely with any organisation committed to building stronger relationships with Māori.” 

We were guided through the Wall Walk by Dr Simone Bull (Ngāti Porou) who brought such amazing energy and knowledge to the day.  

Everyone had a role to play as we were given a topic to research and present as a group. The SWRB Board and the secretariat were fortunate to be joined by SWRB Kāhui members and guests from the Women’s Refuge and regulators.  

Akona te ara pūkenga, kia hīkoi ai te ara tika
Learn your cultural narratives, walk the path that is right

News from the sector

ANZASW Supervision survey

ANZASW is working towards developing a strategy to lift the quality of social work supervision in Aotearoa New Zealand, which will include a review of the supervision policy. To help them do this, they are inviting all registered social workers to complete a survey about their experiences of social work supervision. This survey will then inform the development of their supervision strategy and policy.

This survey will provide important information about social work supervision in Aotearoa New Zealand. It will inform ANZASW’s strategy to lift the quality of social work supervision, including through a review of their supervision policy.

Completing the survey could take between 15 to 45 minutes. The survey will close at 9am Monday 9 May 2022.

Click here to take the survey

The survey will ask you about:

• Your demographic information and background.
• Your current supervision arrangements.
• If you are a supervisor, additional questions about your supervision background and experiences.

Indigenous Voices in Social Work Conference

Through the Tangata Whenua Social Work Association, Aotearoa is hosting the 6th International Indigenous Voices in Social Work Conference on 27-29 April 2022.

“Indigenous well-being is achieved when Indigenous peoples determine and lead their own responses from within indigenous worldviews and identity”.

This online event is themed ‘Rangatiratanga: Indigenous Excellence’ and is for indigenous practitioners. Registrations close 5pm 20 April 2022.

Learn more here: https://6iivsw.maori.nz/

Register here: https://auaha.swoogo.com/6IIVSWC2022