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New Thinking Behind Two New Auckland Residences

Media release
28 October 2003

New Thinking Behind Recruitment Drive For Two New Auckland Residences

Child, Youth and Family is spearheading a major recruitment drive for two new residences set to open in Auckland in February 2004.

The Department, which provides both statutory youth justice and care and protection services for children and young people is looking for a wide range of staff for both residences. This includes unit managers, residential social workers, youth workers, supervisors, night attendants, domestic staff, administrators, chefs and cooks. In total over 75 positions are being recruited. A training programme will be offered to existing and new staff to give them the skills needed for working in the new residences.

One of the residences, Youth Justice North, will be the largest youth justice residence in the country, accommodating up to 46 young people in a new purpose-built facility in Manukau, South Auckland. This will provide an increase of 15 much-needed youth justice beds. The residence design features smaller units: a six-bed unit for young people sentenced under the Criminal Justice Act, and two 12-bed and two 8-bed units for those under remand and under Supervision with Residence orders.

The smaller units are in line with international best practice, which has seen a shift away from larger units so as to create a less institutional feel.

The other residence, Care and Protection North, is a redeveloped 10-bed residence on the site of Child, Youth and Family’s existing Northern Residential Centre, also in Manukau.

At both residences, the weekday focus will be on therapeutic programmes, education and casework. At weekends, the emphasis is on developing social skills and recreational programmes. The goal is for children and young people to develop new skills to enable a successful return to families and the community. The new approach sets out to ensure that suitably skilled staff offer young people programmes tailored to suit each person, supported by individualised planning and casework.

Additionally, the differentiation between weekday and weekend programmes is new. At the moment many social work staff, in particular, follow a three-week rotating roster.

The main benefits of the new system are:

- Young people will receive consistency of care by the same people at the same time on a weekly basis;
- There is greater programme continuity;
- It will assist the integration of on-site education with other programmes;
- Staff will have the chance to work less unsocial work hours, thus improving their welfare and reducing stress and sick leave;
- The need for casual staff would be lessened, providing more skill and stability.

Alan Geraghty, Manager Residential Development says: “Child, Youth and Family is committed to forging better futures for children and young people. We are committed to providing a therapeutic culture that maximises the opportunities for children and young people to develop new skills to support them when they return to families and the community.

“We are also offering staff training and professional development for working in a challenging and rewarding environment.”


Note to Editors

Child, Youth and Family has a total of 8 residences nationwide including those in Auckland, Palmerston North, Lower Hutt, Christchurch and Dunedin.

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