Onboard newsletter – June 2020

There is quiet excitement as we return to a new normal and yet, it will take some time to adjust.  Heading back into the office or returning to the workforce from the cocoon of home can take just as much time to get used to as it did when we first began experiencing restrictions and being in our bubbles.

We also know that many social workers will be facing ongoing pressure as some of the whānau and communities they support deal with the fall-out of the economic impacts of the lockdown, with the loss of jobs and income.  

It will take continued resilience, empathy, and strength during this next period, and I’d like to acknowledge and appreciate those core values which social workers bring every day to their communities.

As you know, the Practising Certificate round is now open and we’ve compiled some FAQs to help with that process (see below).  There are only a couple of weeks left to be able to renew your certificate so thank you to those who have already done so, and we’re looking forward to seeing more completed.  You will know that you need a valid Practising Certificate from 1 July. It’s a time of pressure on our small team and we are trying our best to process applications and payments (and next year our new database should make it easier for everyone).

We’re also continuing with our online and digital channels of communicating with the sector.  Every Thursday at 1pm, we offer a digital information session, (more information below). We really enjoy being able to talk directly with social workers, students, managers, and supervisors, and you come up with some challenging questions which we’re happy to respond to. It’s important for us as an organisation that we keep learning, and know that we’ve still work to do.

As we embrace the new normal, be kind, look after yourself, and go well.

Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui (Be strong, be brave, be steadfast)

Sarah Clark, Chief Executive

Workforce survey reminder – telling the social work story

The annual workforce survey of registered social workers who are practising is underway. It’s anonymous and the information we’ve gathered over the last two years has given insights into the pressures and trends the sector has faced.  The results have been used to help inform advice to government decision-makers, and for advocates, including ANZASW, to lobby on issues such as pay equity.

Zoom and Facebook

Every Thursday at 1pm, we offer a digital information session on Zoom, hosted by our social workers and registration team, which we’d love you to take part in.

You can register for the session by clicking on the link on our Facebook page when it’s advertised at the beginning of each week – https://www.facebook.com/TheSWRB/.  Like and follow us to get all the updates.

This is an open Facebook page and we welcome everyone who’s involved in social work, from social workers to students to all in the sector.  Please pass that info on to those who might be interested.

Practising Certificates – time to renew

This is a busy time of the year with the Practising Certificate round open, and the team is dealing with thousands of renewals from social workers.  We’ve put together some FAQs to help:

• Where do I log in to apply for my Practising Certificate?  Please log into your online account at https://apc.swrb.govt.nz/Account/Index

• How do I renew my registration? It’s your Practising Certificate that needs to be renewed each year that you are practising.  To do this, you log into your online account as above. You don’t need to renew your registration as you automatically stay on the register (unless there’s a specific request to be removed). 

• My employer will pay the cost of my Practising Certificate.  Can I get an invoice? Yes, you can get an invoice. Please log into your account, apply for your Practising Certificate, and select the invoice option. Your invoice is available from the Practising Certificate payment screen so you don’t need to send us a request unless there’s a problem.

• I’m no longer practising as a social worker so don’t need a Practising Certificate. Do I need to do anything?  Please log into your online account and make the non-practising declaration. If you are not sure about whether you are practising please get in touch.

You can find more Practising Certificate FAQs on the website.

CPD audit insights

Our thanks to everyone who participated in the continuing professional development (CPD) audit this year. The audit provides the SWRB with assurances that social workers are undertaking CPD. It is an important obligation for social workers and gives the public confidence that we are staying current.
We selected 300 (5%) social workers at random from the database and requested to see their CPD logs which were then sent to four external assessors.

The assessors were experienced social workers and included tāngata whenua. They reviewed the CPD logs using SWRB guidelines. This included a requirement to provide brief feedback for each social worker submitting a log. This is the first time we have provided feedback like this and it reflects our mandate to enhance the professionalism of social workers.

The CPD logs are now being analysed for themes and trends.

Early findings suggest that social workers are most likely to engage in 28 hours CPD each year, identify five goals for the year and undertake six professional development activities. We look forward to providing more detail about this later in the year.

CPD is about engaging in life-long learning that enhances your professional development, challenging preconceptions, and achieving good outcomes for the people you work with.  Take time now to check your CPD log and bring it up to date.

Andrew Thompson, RSW, Principal Advisor

Introducing the registration team: Renee

Kia ora koutou katoa
Ko wai tēnei, ko Renee Kainuku nee Hepi tēnei
Ko Tongariro tōku maunga
Ko Taupo-nui-a-Tia tōku awa
Ko Te Arawa tōku waka
Ko Ngāti Tu Wharetoa tōku iwi
Ko Ngāti Parekaawa tōku hapu
Ko Poukura tōku marae
Ko Renee āhau

I am a qualified social worker with experience working in both Government and non-government agencies, however, I have since chosen a slightly different path, funnily enough still within the same sector.

Working as a registration officer with the SWRB for almost a year, I have engaged with many Māori, Pacific Island, Chinese, and Indian social workers, and it’s great to see such a diverse range of ethnicities working within Aotearoa.

Having a relatable perspective to the sector gives me understanding and appreciation for the hard mahi social workers do within our communities on a daily basis, especially now more than ever with the Covid-19 impacts.

Our roles as registration officers are to assist, guide, and talk social workers through their applications so they can obtain their social work registration from the SWRB, some of whom are also social workers.

We do understand that some applications can involve more complexities than others depending on your application type, fit and proper disclosures, and qualification types.
If you are ever unsure about a part of the process or need extra assistance don’t be whakamā (shy/bashful), please reach out to us so we can assist you through the process.

As the SWRB moves towards mandatory registration, I am looking forward to connecting more with both qualified and experienced social workers and assisting social workers with their registration applications, Practising Certificates, the Experience pathway: S13 or meeting social workers kanohi ki te kanohi at our roadshows held around the rohe.

Mauri ora,

Renee, Registration Officer