Onboard newsletter – February 2023

Kei aku nui, kei aku rahi, kei ngā ringa raupā, ngā mihi

To those of importance, those who work with communities, those with callused hands, greetings and acknowledgements to you.

Photo of SWRB CE Sarah Clark smiling

I’ve been reflecting on the year past and year ahead, and what has resonated for me is the importance of strong leadership through difficult times, but also being able to step back and recognise the need to look after ourselves, with a focus on wellbeing and resilience of having “enough in the tank”.

Then, in the middle of that time of reflection, the weather struck. Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by the floods and devastation in Auckland, Waikato/ Coromandel, Northland and other areas across the North. Once again teams are in emergency response mode with social workers essential in the support of whānau and communities, as well as dealing with any personal crises at the same time. Plans for Waitangi Day will have looked very different compared with previous years. We can only hope that the aftermath of the weather bomb is not too challenging and that you are able to pause, take a breath and access any support services you need for yourself.

Turning our thoughts to what’s coming up for the SWRB, it is currently a busy phase for new graduates registering with us. We also have experienced social workers successfully registering through the experience pathway (S13). Anyone with questions about these pathways is welcome to drop into our weekly digital Q&A sessions (which run via Zoom). Details below.

We are recruiting to a few roles at present – where we have new projects and where some of our kaimahi have moved onto new opportunities elsewhere, including our previous Registrar Paul Kirby. The job advert for a new Registrar will be on our website soon.

With various new projects at an early stage (for example Building Social Worker Capability with Oranga Tamariki, and in relation to the extension of the Social Work Pay Equity settlement) we look forward to updating you on progress over the coming months.

Ngā mihi,

Sarah Clark
Chief Executive

The Experience Pathway: S13

The Experience Pathway: S13 is a registration pathway for people who have been working in social work for several years, but who do not have a recognised social work qualification. The Experience Pathway: S13 is provided for under section 13 of the Social Workers Registration Act.

Experience pathway applicants have been using their skills and experience to make a significant contribution to whānau and communities, without having taken a formal qualification. It is an important pathway for Māori who form a proportionately high number of the people applying for registration through this route. Last year, we refined the experience pathway process to ensure it is an accessible and effective route to registration.

Feedback from a social worker when they had their registration confirmed:
“This email has been received with such anticipation and nervous excitement— and what good news to receive! I have also enjoyed the journey and appreciate this journey of the SWRB [experience] pathway. I am so elated for this opportunity to serve my community as a registered social worker.”

If you are employing someone with significant social work experience but who is not qualified through a recognised qualification, you can find out more at: https://swrb.govt.nz/registration/experience-pathway-s13/

Did you know…
How many social workers have registered via the experience pathway?
100 Social workers have been registered through the Experience Pathway since mandatory registration in Feb 2021
What is looked for in an application?
Through the application process applicants are asked for their:
·         social work employment history
·         a description of significant social work practice experiences
·         a practice study demonstrating social work competence
·         a self-reflection on the SWRB Core Competence Standards
·         additional information that will help the kaiarotake consider their experience and competence to practice

Applications can be considered in English or Te Reo.
Who is in an assessment rōpū?

Members will be selected by the SWRB to ensure that every rōpū consists of expertise in: 
·         te ao Māori
·         social work practice
·         social work education

Every assessment rōpū has at least one Kaiarotake Tangata Whenua member.

Graduating students zoom session

Many social work students have recently or are in the process of completing their study/ final year placements. For those who are about to enter the profession and are looking to become registered, we invite you to join our digital information sessions with any questions you may have around the registration process, holding a practising certificate and maintaining Continuing Professional Development.

The sessions are held weekly on Thursdays at 1pm and can be accessed via this link: https://bit.ly/31H8XEq.

Image promoting zoom information sessions over Thursdays 1-2pm

Koha recipient – Anglican Family Care

Before the end of 2022 we celebrated Aotearoa Social Workers Day by putting out a call for koha nominations for social workers who people felt exemplified value led practice in the work they do. Our Advisory team reviewed all the entries and selected 7 deserving nominations to receive a small koha to recognise and celebrate their work.

One of these recipients were social workers at Anglican Family Care. The nomination spoke on the work the team did supporting parents, children through the challenges of COVID, as well as their involvement advocating for Pay Equity within the sector.   

The SWRB wanted to acknowledge the incredible mahi the Anglican Family Care team has done and continues to do. It is important whenever possible to take a breath and make time celebrate with your colleagues. You can see below the photo of the team enjoying some morning tea treats from their local café.

We hope to share more celebrations in the upcoming months and encourage others to take some time to recognise the outstanding work of their social workers when they can.

“I would like to nominate my colleagues at Anglican Family Care. We have social workers who work with parents from pregnancy through to 3 years of age via our Family Start programme and a team of social workers who work with parents with children up to the age of 17 through Home-Based Family Support.

My colleagues are an amazing bunch who support whānau through the multifaceted challenges of parenting on a daily basis.  They have continued to work through the multiple covid lockdowns and consistently up their game to support families through increasingly challenging times.  The families we work with have complex needs and are often also involved with statutory services.

Alongside this day to day mahi the team are also actively involved in supporting and advocating for the NGO Social Work Fair Pay agreement. The team continues to be motivated to get the word out and raise awareness for our sector on the whole. 

Finally whilst holding all of this, these kaimahi are the most incredibly supportive people to each other. Our workplace has an amazing culture of lifting each other up and helping each other through the ups and downs of the work we do.”
Photo of smiling social workers from Anglican Family Care eating a morning tea,

Extension of Pay Equity Settlement

Work on the extension of the pay equity settlement continues with an important phase of data collection by Te Kawa Mataaho.

If you receive Government funding to deliver services and you employ social workers or those in social work roles to deliver these services, you will be eligible to be part of the extension process.

Te Kawa Mataaho will be requesting information from every Community and iwi organisation so that it can calculate the total cost of the extension and make sure the right amount of funding is requested from Government. It is critical that all community and iwi organisations provide the information and data requested by Te Kawa Mataaho. 

If you are a social worker or employer in an iwi or community organisation, you can read more on Te Kawa Mataaho’s website.

Exciting project opportunities with the SWRB

Are you looking for an opportunity to use your skills on an inspirational project that will leave a lasting impact on the social work landscape? These two pieces of work are funded directly by the Crown, and will provide advice to Ministers as part of the extension of pay equity, and support Oranga Tamariki’s Action plan.

We have several vacancies across two projects:

  • Building Social Worker Capability in Oranga Tamariki
  • Understanding the ‘social work-like’ workforce

You can find out more about the projects and roles at swrb.govt.nz/exciting-project-opportunities-with-the-swrb/

We are keen to have the projects up and running as soon as possible, so please note the closing date for all applications is Sunday 19 February.