30 May 2014

Social work review highlights gaps

7:48 pm on 30 May 2014

The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers says a review in to the caseload of professionals in the field is confirmation they don't have enough time to help vulnerable children, including Maori.

The recently released report found their assessment work was excellent, but came at the expense of other aspects of practice.

It recommends more social workers, and that their role is overhauled so they can spend more time with at risk children.

Social Workers' Association chief executive Lucy Sandford-Reed said it confirmed what it already knew - that tamariki Maori and their families didn't always receive the support they needed.

She said the review found that in a significant number of cases, professionals didn't seek cultural advice when completing safety assessments for tamariki.

Ms Sandford-Reed said they either didn't talk with the children or their whanau first before developing a plan.

She said social workers aimed to do the right thing for children, but because of some sector guidelines she believed that was not always easy.