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More social workers in schools from 1 July

1 July 2006 Media Statement

More social workers in schools from 1 July

Ten social workers will join the Social Workers in Schools Programme (SWiS) from
1 July as part of the final expansion of the programme, bringing the total number of social workers to 118, working in 330 schools across the country.

“Empowering families is key to the most successful social work interventions and this is what lies at the heart of the SWiS Programme, “ says Child, Youth and Family Services Minister Ruth Dyson.

“SWiS enables social workers to work closely with children and their families to identify and recognise their own strengths and abilities to plan their way through their problems.”

SWiS is an early intervention and prevention programme targeted at year 1- 8 primary and intermediate school children and their families in low decile schools. Led and financed by Child, Youth and Family in partnership with the Ministry of Education, it is designed to give early help to children and their families before problems become more serious and difficult to overcome.

In Budget 2004, the Government pledged $16 million over four years towards the programme in order to assist its continuing expansion.

Children and their families are able to refer themselves onto the SWiS programme and participation is voluntary. The latest findings show that an increasing number of families are self-referring – 17% in 2006 compared to 12% in 2002. The main referrals still come from school principals at 42%, followed by teachers at 25%.

Social workers are able to work with the child and family to assess and develop plans to meet the child’s and family’s needs and their role includes co-ordinating a range of services such as health, counselling and parenting courses. The programme will be independently evaluated during 2006-07 as part of reviewing its effectiveness.

See attached list of where the 10 social workers will be starting work.

School Clusters to receive Social Workers in Schools service from 1 July 2006

Locality Schools in Cluster
Service Provider Total Roll of Cluster Total
FTE social workers Start date
Linwood North, Linwood Intermediate, Bromley Te Puna Whairoa 663 1 1 July 2006
Christchurch Rowley Avenue, Aorangi, Riccarton, West Spreydon Te Puna Whairoa 632 1 1 July 2006
Motueka Parklands, Motueka South Nelson Bays Home 430 1 1 July 2006
Palmerston North Roslyn, Terrace End Te Runanga O Raukawa 593 1 1 July 2006
Raetihi Ohakune, Raetihi Primary, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ngati Rangi Hinengakau Maatua Whangai 506 1 1 July 2006
Taupo Mt View, Wairakei James Family 761 1 1 July 2006
Hastings Hastings Central, Hastings Intermediate, St Joseph’s Birthright Napier 787 1 1 July 2006
Opotiki Ashbrook Primary, Opotiki Primary, St Joseph’s Te Ha O Te Whanau Trust 692 1 1 July 2006
Auckland Kelston Primary, Fruitvale Primary, Prospect Primary, Glenavon Primary James Family/Waipareira Trust 1470 2 1 July 2006

Total no. of FTE social workers 10

To be eligible to be selected for SWiS, groups or clusters of schools have to be:
- Decile 1-3 or at least 60% of roll in decile 1-3;
- Have a roll of approx. 400-700 primary and intermediate students per social worker;
- Have 4 urban or 3 rural schools situated close together.

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