Onboard newsletter – February 2021

There is some exciting news as we quickly approach mandatory registration on February 27th 2021 – we are very close to having 10,000 registered social workers in New Zealand!  

The SWRB team (above) is working hard as the deadline approaches and our registration team is processing hundreds of applications.

The message of ‘Stand with your profession’ has clearly resonated for many and we want that to continue.  We are keen to see all social workers registered.  For your colleagues who are yet to do so, please let them know it’s not too late to apply.  It would be really appreciated if we could enlist your help to point them in the right direction with lots of information about how to apply on our website – https://swrb.govt.nz/.

As you know, there is strength in numbers as that brings a much louder voice to effect change. We would also like to acknowledge the many in the sector who have contributed years of hard work to ensure social work enters this next phase, and to thank all those who have taken part in what has been a long and eventful journey. 

Sarah Clark,
Chief Executive

Nau mai, haere mai, rēhita mai – registration drive

As we move closer to February 27 and mandatory registration, the most important thing to remember is it’s not too late for your colleagues or your social worker (if you’re an employer) to get registered!

We have extra staff on board to make sure we are getting through applications in record time. We have already registered 331 new social workers since we’ve been back this year, and we would love to get more social workers registered. The SWRB board is meeting weekly at the moment to ensure that applications are approved as quickly as possible.

If you, your colleagues or employees have any questions, please call us on 0508 797 269 or email us at applications@swrb.govt.nz.  You can also join us on our regular Q&A zoom sessions on a Thursday from 1pm at the following link – https://bit.ly/31H8XEq.  It’s a drop-in session where you can ask your question, and then either stay or leave. The time to begin an application is now.

SWRB chair appointed to Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board

SWRB Board chair Shannon Pakura, who has a long social work career, has been appointed to a new Board to advise the Minister in charge of Oranga Tamariki, Kelvin Davis.

Shannon joins other high-profile Māori leaders including Dame Naida Glavish, Sir Mark Solomon, and Matthew Tukaki (chair) on the Board. 

It was set up in the wake of the resignation of Grainne Moss, chief executive of Oranga Tamariki, and five reviews into the organisation’s child uplift practises, including an internal report and inquiries by the Children’s Commissioner, Whānau Ora, the Chief Ombudsman, and the Waitangi Tribunal.

Shannon, who remains as SWRB Board chair, says the Minister has given the new Board an opportunity to provide him with some frank advice and the oranga (wellbeing) of children would be its focus.

The Board, which started work in early February, will advise Minister Davis on the agency’s relationships with families, whānau, and Māori; professional social work practices; and organisational culture.

Sir Wira Gardiner has taken over as acting chief executive of Oranga Tamariki.

Pacific advisor joins SWRB

My name is Shomilla Sidal, and I am a registered social worker currently employed as a Pacific Advisor for the SWRB. My welcome to SWRB has been heart-warming, and everyone has been very supportive and welcoming.

A little about myself; I was born in Fiji and moved to New Zealand at a young age, so I see myself as a Kiwi and grew up in Upper Hutt.  I am a self-taught artist, and mostly paint and draw, although I also dabble in making crafts and jewellery. 

My journey into social work started around 2001 after getting support from the HELP foundation, which I then started working for in 2003 as a crisis worker and then as a co-ordinator. I realised this was my life passion and sought qualifications, graduating from Te Wananga O Aotearoa in 2007.  Since then, I have systematically worked to build up my knowledge and expertise in different areas, including mental health, women’s issues, homelessness, youth, elder care and elder abuse response, domestic violence, and sexual abuse. Currently my passion is in the governance sector.  My belief is that everyone who is working with vulnerable people needs to be accountable to a regulatory system to ensure safety for our people. 

I am super excited to be working for the SWRB. I want to work with my colleagues to help social workers understand and use our processes to register or define a registration path for their future. 

Workforce Planning & Policy Manager – Liz Jones

Tēnā koutou katoa
Nō Liverpool, nō Ingarangi ahau
Ko Ken tōku hoa tane
Ko Matt tōku tama
Ko Emily tōku tamāhine
Ko Liz Jones ahau
Kei Wainuiomata ahau me tōku whānau e noho ana
Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

I have worked across the public sector in social housing agencies, for government departments, in the not-for-profit and voluntary sector, and here in New Zealand since 2011.

This is my second stint at the SWRB. I was here previously in 2017 working on changes to our legislation that see mandatory registration for social workers coming into effect later this month.

This time my role is Workforce Planning and Policy Manager, and I am thrilled to be back here, working with the senior leadership team, in a space that contributes to the safety of the public and enhances the social work profession.

I oversee a small team of Policy Advisors whose work supports social workers and social work students to become and maintain their compliance as registered professionals, such as the development of the Scope of Practice, Code of Conduct, and Programme Recognition Standards for our social work education providers. 

The policy team also develops operational policy and procedures for our in-house SWRB teams in Registration, Professional Standards, and Education and Complaints.  The policy team is also responsible for all Crown monitoring activity, and accountability reporting to our Minister, Carmel Sepuloni. This includes our Statement of Intent, Statement of Performance Expectations, our Annual and Quarterly Reporting, and all performance measurement and monitoring activities.