Onboard newsletter – August 2021

Kei ngā ringa raupā o te whānau, kei ngā tauwhirio o te whakaaro nui, tēnā anō tatou katoa!

To calloused hands working with whānau, to our valued social workers and those committed to the profession, greetings to you all!

Kia kaha to everyone across the motu as we navigate another uncertain period of alert level changes. While this has become more familiar territory, it still presents many challenges. We know also  that these times bring extra pressure on the sector, reflecting the stress and anxiety within our communities. 

Social workers are essential part of the Covid workforce, and for many of you we know you continue to work on the frontline and behind the scenes to support clients, families, and whānau. There is a greater demand for social services during this period, and we wish to acknowledge your commitment and amazing mahi during these tough times.

The SWRB has been fortunate to be able to transition quickly into working remotely, and our team is available to respond to queries and questions. One topic which had been generating interest was the CPD audit, which as many of you know was scheduled for last week. Given the lockdown, we considered whether to proceed or postpone, but on balance decided that it was preferable to inform those who have been selected to participate, and by default – provide certainty for those that have not. At 5% of the register, it is a reasonably small group who have been asked to submit their logs. We recognise that in a Covid environment this may be difficult for some, and we’ll do our best to find a solution that’s workable. Please see CPD audit section for more information.

It’s probably timely to do a reminder of the value of keeping your CPD log up to date. CPD allows you to reflect on the highlights of your learning, education, and development needs. Our new CPD log through MySWRB makes it easy to submit notes as you go, and it’s all recorded in the one place. Taking part in CPD enhances your own professionalism, while strengthening the social work profession as a whole.

I would also like to echo some points that our social workers made during the last lockdown, that I feel are still very relevant. Over the next few weeks remember to:

  • Reach out to fellow social workers – we express mahitahi to connect and work closely with others
  • Take time out – Pause, reflect and remember your why and connect to your purpose
  • Keep connected  Demonstrate manaaki through supporting others
  • Be kind to yourself – Expressing manaaki to others, requires a balanced approach to ensure your own wellbeing is looked after.

We touch on the value of manaaki later in the newsletter, but I would like to highlight how important it is, especially now. Manaaki is about showing respect and taking care of/ supporting others. We repeatedly see examples of social workers showing this for others in the work you do.

Remember to keep looking after yourself, as well as those around you – and stay safe.

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia manawanui!

Sarah Clark,
Chief Executive

CPD Audit 

The SWRB has started the annual CPD audit for the 2020/21 year. If you are one of the 5% of social workers randomly selected to participate in the audit, you will have been sent an email on Friday 20 August. We ask all social workers to please check your inboxes (including your spam folder) to confirm whether you have been selected. If you have not been contacted by us, then you will not be audited this year.

For those selected, we greatly appreciate your participation in this year’s audit. Instructions on how to submit your CPD and Supervisor declaration through MySWRB are included in the email and on our website here.

We appreciate this is a busy and stressful time for many in the sector. There are several reasons why we were unable to delay the CPD audit this year, despite the difficult timing with lockdown. 

The CPD date was confirmed months prior with the sector, and as most of the sector do not participate in the audit, it was important that we could confirm who is selected by the publicised date so that people who had not been selected would know they weren’t selected. We needed to do this because we were getting quite a few queries from social workers expressing anxiety that they might be selected. By going ahead with the audit we were therefore able to provide assurance to majority of the sector. 

For those who have already completed their log, this should be a quick and straightforward process, as you simply need to upload your completed CPD document to your MySWRB. If you have completed your log in MYSWRB you just need to mark it as complete, and it is ready for auditing. Remember that if you don’t mark it as complete, we can’t see it.  

We recognise that people may be facing additional challenges due to the COVID-19 lockdown, so if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at applications@swrb.govt.nz or 0508 797 269. For further information on completing your CPD Log or the audit review process, you can visit the SWRB website or you can join our digital CPD Q&A session on Thursday from 1pm. You can access it via this link.                                                

Social Work Students

The SWRB wants to acknowledge all our social work students who are impacted by the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown. We know that many students will have had their placements affected and we have been working with educators to see how we can provide some support. Interim field education guidelines were sent to tertiary providers to help educators find flexible solutions for students whose placement have been disrupted. We suggest talking directly with your educator if you have any questions or concerns.

 Lisa Grant Sarah Fraser, and NMIT social work students

Getting a head start on Provisional Registration Applications for Year 4 Students

Are you a student coming to the end of your studies or know someone who is? As we approach the end of the year, it’s a great time to get ahead and start planning for registration. There are a number of steps you can take to streamline the process and make it quicker to submit your application. You’ll need to create an account, and then once you’re in your second month of placement you can get underway. To read more about the steps to take, visit our ‘students’ section on our website here.

Living our values in our work and in our lives

In previous newsletters we have talked about our refreshed values that the SWRB has developed. These are Matatika, Manaaki, Mahitahi, and Māia, and have been built on the concepts represented through the Kaitiakitanga framework.

Led by our Chief Advisor Māori Development, Hohepa Patea our staff undertook wānanga to discuss and reflect on our values and what these mean to us as individuals and collectively as an organisation. We began with ‘Manaaki’, looking after the dignity of others, to support, to tend to, take care of, protect, look out for, show respect, generosity and kindness towards others.

As an organisation we work hard to bring this concept to life, and have it infused in the way we think and act. We hope that over time you will see a change within the SWRB as we seek to operate in a way which is respectful and protects the mana of those we engage with.

Living in our current reality with Covid, the concept of manaaki is even more present within our communities. We recognise the importance of reaching out to others during these uncertain times. There is richness in bringing these concepts to life – to give as well as to receive. Displaying respect, aroha and compassion  recognises and acknowledges the mana of others. Whether level 4 or level 1, this is what we are striving for.

He ara pūkenga, he ara tauwhiro, hei whakamana mātā waka

The many pathways of knowledge, the many pathways of social work, to uphold the dignity of all!