Onboard newsletter – September 2023

He ara pūkenga, he ara tauwhiro, hei whakamana mātā waka
The many pathways of knowledge, the many pathways of social work, upholding the dignity of all

As we welcome the colourful changes of Spring, we reflect on the many changes we see happening around us. In this edition we’re introducing you to one of our new social work advisors and we have some other new social work faces joining us, that we’ll share over the next few months.

Last week, like many around the motu, we celebrated te wiki o te reo. It was great opportunity to acknowledge the taonga of te reo, to tikanga with staff members, and sing waiata with our floor neighbours. Moments like these allow us to learn from, and connect with each other.

In other celebratory news, this year Aotearoa New Zealand Social Workers’ Day falls this Wednesday on 20 September 2023. The day is a significant opportunity to highlight and celebrate the incredible mahi social workers are doing in the community with whānau, tamariki and individuals. This year, we are supporting the focus on excellence within the profession by sponsoring the Quality Practice Award at the ANZASW Social Work Awards. We look forward to acknowledging the amazing work of these practitioners.  

It is also important that we acknowledge the passing of whaea Robyn Corrigan – a pillar in the social work profession, especially with her work around indigenous practice. Robyn was a foundational part in SWRB’s history, being the inaugural Chair and having the registration number ‘1’ on the register. We were honoured that she shared some professional and personal insights in an interview last year for our Onboard newsletter. The SWRB farewells Robyn with a celebration of her life and the endless contributions she made.  

Tangihia rā ngā mate o te wiki, o te marama, o te tau. Nō reira e te Māreikura e Robyn, hoki atu ki tōu ake hawaikitanga. Haere atu ki te matotorutanga o tōu whānau, tōu hapū, tōu iwi. Hare atu rā.

Ngā mihi,

Sarah Clark
Chief Executive

E te Māreikura e Robyn Corrigan

Kua riro atu koe, I te tirohanga kanohi
Anei mātou e tangi nei mou kua riro atu ki te pō

With heavy hearts, the SWRB wishes to acknowledge the passing of Whaea Robyn Corrigan.

Robyn has had a long and distinguished career in social work, spanning over 30 years. She was the inaugural chair of the Social Workers Registration Board in 2003, a president of the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) and played an influential role in the international arena, especially in relation to indigenous social work practice. Locally, she was instrumental in establishing the Tangata Whenua Social Workers Association (TWSWA) where she has served as a Kāhui member. Robyn’s accomplishments were recognised by being awarded an MNZM for services to social work in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year.  Her passion and strength radiated in all the mahi she did.

The SWRB is profoundly grateful for all she has done for this organisation, for the support she extended to each subsequent SWRB Chairperson and enhancing the social work profession.  

We send our thoughts and aroha to her whānau at this time.

Nō reira e te hoa, e te whaea,
Haere atu rā koe ki o ihi, ki o tapu I te pō

Moe mai rā.

Shannon Pakura
SWRB Chair

CPD audit survey – we want to hear from you

We are looking for feedback on the SWRB’s process for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) logs. Previously, we have audited 5% of practising social workers each year. We have looked at whether people have completed their CPD logs, if they have completed the number of required hours (20), and we have asked for critical reflections on their CPD.

Over the last four years we have found that for most social workers, the required CPD is completed. However, we’ve heard that writing reflections in the current log format is time-consuming and isn’t necessarily beneficial.

This survey includes questions that relate to this CPD log and audit process. It isn’t SWRB’s role to deliver CPD for social workers. However, we do want to support and understand the needs of the workforce as part of our guidance for professional standards and regulatory expectations.

Survey link

Education visit: Open Polytechnic

Last month, a group from the SWRB went to visit and speak with social work students of the Open Polytechnic. Hamish McDouall (Registrar), Matt Paterson (Senior Registration officer), and Sammy O’Donnell (Registration officer) talked to students about registration, continuing professional development and the work of the SWRB.  

“It was lovely to meet the students at the Open Polytechnic. Many had travelled from all over Aotearoa, and it was fantastic to see the different perspectives they brought and the many questions they had regarding the registration process. The kōrero felt positive and insightful, and it has been rewarding to see many of the students’ applications already submitted and under way. We wish to thank Open Polytechnic for having us, it is always a pleasure to speak with the next generation of social workers as they begin to enter the profession.”

New Social Work Advisor at the SWRB – Emily Ranginui

He uri au no Tūhoe me Ruapani ki Waikaremoana. Engari, e noho ana ki te taha ō Waikato awa.  

Ko Emily Ranginui tōku ingoa. 

I have 2 gorgeous boys – Mr. 16 and Mr. 12, who keep me entertained and on my toes on the daily. We live on our whānau papakainga with all the whānau including our 4 dogs and 3 cats.  

As a Māori Social Worker, I know the pressures of upholding the mana of my tipuna and the mana of the profession. Studying at Wintec, I had my 21st in my first year as a Social Worker for the Department of Child, Youth and Family, continued my mahi working with Youth in the Hamilton community, eventually moving into Student support at Wintec Te Pūkenga, with a small hiatus at Family Start. Engaging with whānau, supporting them to maintain their rangatiratanga, supporting the success of Māori is where I flourish.  Building equity in mainstream organisations for Māori and being a voice for those who need it. 

I realised quickly that I needed a place to recuperate. So, I studied raranga/weaving. Raranga is where I settle myself, it is my happy place.

Annual Report 2021-22 – a year in review

Our Annual Report from 2021/22 has been published and is available on our website. The 2021/22 year covered an important period as we were adjusting to the shift to mandatory registration. At the same time as ensuring a stable financial situation, we were looking ahead at what steps we needed to take to meet our aspirations as a modern regulator, to actively partner with Māori, and to enhance social worker professionalism, while continuing our primary focus to protect the safety of the public. We were also exploring our newly established role as Social Worker Workforce Planning Lead Agency.  

Annual Report link

Experience Pathway – an update

As many in the sector are aware, if a social worker doesn’t hold a SWRB-recognised social work qualification but has significant experience practising social work in New Zealand, they may be eligible to become registered as a social worker through the Experience Pathway: S13.

Currently the Experience Pathway is to be repealed on 28 February 2024. But in August, the Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill was presented to the House seeking to delay the repeal until 28 February 2028. This was to extend the window for experience pathway applicants, given that mandatory registration only came into effect in 2021.

In their report the Social Services and Community Committee considered the benefits of delaying the repeal of the pathway, and have recommended extending the pathway for a further four years. When considering the Bill they received 25 written submissions and heard oral evidence from three submitters.

A number of submitters supported the delay because they are in favour of retaining the experience pathway. Although the pathway would eventually be repealed under the Bill, submitters considered that the delay would lead to an increase in the number of social workers becoming registered who possess valuable skills and experience within our communities.

A smaller number of submissions either argued against the amendment or proposed a shorter extension of the pathway.

The SWRB was an advisor to the Committee, along with the Ministry of Social Development.

Parliament has been dissolved ahead of the election, so it won’t be until it reconvenes that we know whether the Bill is going to proceed. So, if you know someone interested in applying for registration under the experience pathway, let them know they must submit their application by 28 February 2024.

Social work field educator survey: CPD needs of field educators/practice educators  

Dr. Katheryn Pascoe (Otago University) is examining the continued professional development needs of field educators/practice educators in social work field education and is looking for survey participants. She has shared the following information about her work with a link to the survey:  

Whether referred to as a practice educator, field educator, or placement supervisor, your role in social work education is essential for enabling social work students to connect theory to practice and develop their skills and knowledge before entering the profession. This project aims to map the training already access for fulfilling the role of a practice educator, the ongoing development needs practice educators faced, and any gaps in having these met.  

If you are a registered social worker currently supervising a social work student on placement or have supervised a social work student on placement in the past three years in Aotearoa New Zealand, we want to hear from you.  

The survey should take approximately 10-12 minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary and anonymous, and the survey will be open until 9pm on the 2nd of October 2023.  

Please follow this link to access the survey or copy and paste the URL into your internet browser https://otago.au1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eKZXOw9IkDTgRme  

More detailed information of the study is included at the start of the survey which can be accessed and read before you decide whether or not you wish to participate.  

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 CPD.

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

Social Work Awards 2023

A reminder that the Social Work Awards 2023 are being held on 20 September 2023. To celebrate New Zealand Social Workers day, we have sponsored the Quality Practice Award. Congratulations to the finalists Brendan Ward, Okesene Faraimo and Sally Phillips. We look forward to celebrating the incredible mahi that these social workers demonstrate in the communities. We also encourage you to join in acknowledging the work of their social workers whether in your workplace or in your local region. 

You can find out more about the awards on the ANZASW website.