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Lasting social worker remedies needed – and quick!

PSA media release 7 September

Lasting social worker remedies needed – and quick! - PSA

The dangerously low staffing levels and the resulting unrealistic and unworkable caseloads facing social workers need to be remedied as quickly as possible, the Public Service Association said today.

‘The reaffirmation by the Social Services Minister, Steve Maharey, of the budget funding for 22 extra social workers is proof the Government recognises the problems and is listening,’ PSA national secretary Richard Wagstaff says.
‘But the Child Youth and Family Services dams are bursting,’ he said.

‘We are having to deal with the ramifications of more than ten years of organisational suffocation and depletion of the service,’ Mr Wagstaff said.

‘The PSA drove up these issues with the previous Government without a satisfactory response or sense that they understood the seriousness of the situation. Instead they had plans to cut funding further,’ he said.

‘Social workers are struggling and burning out. It really is quite depressing and, as I say, dangerous. It should be a concern to all New Zealanders ’
The PSA has been carrying the concerns of its social worker members to the Department and the Government.

‘The extra funding in the budget and the Judge Brown review, which will cover issues of capacity demonstrates a commitment to look at the issues seriously. The PSA has already and will continue to press home these concerns,’ Mr Wagstaff said.

For more comment and information please contact Richard Wagstaff on 025 277 8131
or the PSA communications officer, Colin Williams on 04 917 2039 or 025 575 839

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