Scope of Practice

The draft Scope of Practice is a high-level description of social work practice. It supports a shared identity for social workers and establishes a common understanding of social work in Aotearoa, New Zealand.

The Scope of Practice Working Group and the SWRB are pleased to share the draft Scope of Practice and we welcome your feedback on whether you think the draft Scope describes social work in Aotearoa.

Draft Scope of Practice 2020

Introduction to development of draft Scope

Draft Scope

“Awhinatia nga taonga tuku iho”

Scope of Practice Social Workers Registration Board

Ko Mana Motuhake te Moemoea
Ko Mana Tangata te Kaupapa
Ko Mana Atua te Ara Taumata
Ko Mana Tipuna te Tikanga
Ko Mana Whenua te Turanga
Ko Manaakitanga te uara

“Ma is the essence”, Mana is the intrinsic nature that all humanity walks with. Mana motuhake drives the direction, mana atua is the protective presence, mana tipuna is the pathway guided by the ancestors, mana whenua is the distinctive source of the pathway and mana tangata is the respectful relationship.

The core of social work is centred in manaakitanga.

Social workers see themselves in their work through their cultural lens and through the lens of their field of practice. This lens opens up the ability for social workers to connect with the narratives of their own paradigms. The Tangata Whenua perspective of engagement and relationship building is a tradition that transcends from our ancestral realms. If you were to look at engagement and relationship building using another cultural paradigm, it will look different, appreciating the diversity Aotearoa New Zealand has to offer.

Scope of Practice Social Workers Registration Board

Note: Out of respect for different tribal areas, the Tangata Whenua caucus of the Scope working group has chosen not to use macrons, any indication of a long vowel, in the Niho Taniwha explanation. The diagram will be further developed for the final Scope document, as will the Niho Taniwha framework.

Whakapapa and feedback

We have written an introduction to the draft Scope to provide a brief history of how and why it was included in the Act, which includes a short explanation of the development of the draft Scope by the Scope Working Group.

We thank all who contributed to the development of the draft Scope.

We acknowledge the broad feedback we have received and encourage you to discuss the draft Scope with your colleagues and within your teams.

Your written feedback has been received and will now be considered.

Rōpū (Scope working group)

Scope of Practice Social Workers Registration Board
(LtoR) Diane Garrett RSW, Principal Policy Advisor SWRB, Paul’e Ruwhiu RSW, Lecturer Massey University Auckland; Kieran O’Donoghue RSW, Associate Professor Massey University; Graham Warren Kaumatua SWRB;Shannon Pakura RSW, SWRB Chair & Māori Service Development Manager Barnardos; Sally Dalhousie RSW, COO The Fono and ANZASW Vice President; Rose Henderson RSW, SWRB Board member, Director of Allied Health Canterbury DHB; Lucy Sandford-Reed CEO ANZASW; Sharyn Roberts RSW, ANZASW President and Social Work Manager Te Ora Hou Otautahi; Miriama Scott RSW, President Tangata Whenua Social Workers Association; Shayne Walker RSW, Senior Lecturer University of Otago; Liz Gourlay RSW, Professional Lead Social Work BoP DHB.

Discussion document & Act

A Scope of Practice discussion document was previously circulated to the sector which then provided feedback, as below:

Scope of Practice discussion document

Feedback on Scope of Practice discussion Jan - Mar 2020

Developing a Scope of Practice was required by amendments to the Social Workers Registration Act, which you can find out more about here.