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Social Workers in Schools roll out

15 March 2005

Providers confirmed for next stage of Social Workers in Schools roll out

Nine social service providers have been approved to employ social workers for the expansion of the Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) programme. Following a successful tender process, these providers will employ 12 full time equivalent (FTE) social workers to start immediately, with another five FTEs starting 1 July 2005.

A further tender round is currently underway to allocate the remaining six social workers for this stage of expansion. This will see a total of 71 schools begin to receive the service in 2005, in addition to the 85 social workers already working in 220 schools across the country.

SWiS is an early intervention and prevention programme targeted at year 0-8 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.

Senior Advisor for SWiS Veronica Bennett says that Child, Youth and Family has been very pleased by the high calibre of providers and applications submitted during the tender process.

“Now that the providers for this tender have been confirmed, they can begin their recruitment process. Child, Youth and Family is currently conducting briefings and partnering workshops for the new school clusters and the selected providers to assist in establishing the service.

“Schools across the country have shown very strong interest in being part of this programme, and expansion is set to continue. By 2007, 115 social workers will be delivering services to around 330 schools.”

To be eligible to be selected for SWiS, groups or clusters of schools have to be:

- Decile 1-3 or at last 60% of roll in decile 1-3; - A roll of 400-700 primary and intermediate students per social worker; - 4 urban or 3 rural schools situated close together.

All SWiS social workers are employed by non-governmental service providers, who were invited to tender for the delivery of the service.

ENDS

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