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More social workers in schools

Hon Ruth Dyson
Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment (Child, Youth and Family)

20 October 2005 / Media Statement

More social workers in schools

Thirty schools are soon to get the services of 12 more social workers as part of the final expansion of the Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) programme, Child Youth and Family Minister Ruth Dyson said today.

The 30 schools are made up of 11 clusters in Timaru, Gisborne, Christchurch, Motueka, Palmerston North, Ohakune/Raetihi, Taupo, Hastings, Opotiki and Auckland. Two new social workers will start in Timaru and Gisborne from Term 1, 2006, with the other 10 starting on 1 July 2006.

“SWiS is an early intervention and prevention programme for primary and intermediate children and their families in low decile schools. When the programme is fully in place, 118 dedicated social workers will be supporting 300 schools around the country,” Ruth Dyson said.

Local service providers employ the social workers to be part of a support system that can include public health nurses and truancy officers who work with teachers to help children experiencing learning and behaviour problems.

“It’s difficult to do well at school if you’re facing family and social problems,” Ruth Dyson said. “That’s why Child, Youth and Family is working in partnership with the Ministry of Education, schools and service providers to get social workers into schools. They can step in to help children, work with families, and prevent their problems becoming more serious.”

Ms Dyson said the programme was paying dividends in schools where it was already in place.

“It’s not just the schools and students who do well, but also their families and communities.”

To be eligible for the SwiS programme, clusters of schools have to:

- be decile 1-3 or have at least 60 per cent of their roll in decile 1-3;

- have a roll of 400-700 primary and intermediate students per social worker;

- have 4 urban or 3 rural schools situated close together.


School Clusters to receive Social Workers in Schools service in 2006

Locality / Schools in Cluster / Total Roll of Cluster / Total FTE social workers / Start date
Timaru / Timaru South, Grantlea Downs / 710 / 1 / Term 1, 2006
Gisborne / Te Wharau, Elgin / 598 / 1 / Term 1, 2006
Christchurch / Linwood North, Linwood Intermediate, Bromley / 663 / 1 / 1 July 2006
Christchurch / Rowley Avenue, Aorangi, Riccarton, West Spreydon / 632 / 1 / 1 July 2006
Motueka / Parklands, Motueka South / 430 / 1 / 1 July 2006
Palmerston North / Roslyn, Terrace End / 593 / 1 / 1 July 2006
Ohakune/Raetihi / Ohakune, Raetihi Primary, Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Ngati Rangi / 506 / 1 / 1 July 2006
Taupo / Mt View, Wairakei / 761 / 1 / 1 July 2006
Hastings / Hastings Central, Hastings Intermediate, St Joseph’s / 787 / 1 / 1 July 2006
Opotiki / Ashbrook Primary, Opotiki Primary, St Joseph’s / 692 / 1 / 1 July 2006
Auckland / Kelston Primary, Fruitvale Primary, Prospect Primary, Glenavon Primary / 1470 / 2 / 1 July 2006
Total no. of FTE social workers / 12

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