Who we are and what we do

We help families help themselves. We believe all children belong in families that will love and nurture them. We team up with many different groups and people so that families have the support they need to help their children thrive. 

What we do

We work closely with families to help them find their own solutions, so they can:

  • deal with their problems
  • make the changes they need so their children will be safe and well cared for
  • achieve their goals for the family.

When children need secure, loving, long-term homes, we'll work with family and whanau, caregivers, and adoptive parents to find them one.

When young people offend, we want them to get back on track and make good decisions in the future. We'll organise a conference for the young person, their family and the victim of their offending to meet and talk about the impact of their actions. We'll then help them get back on track for a successful future.

We partner up with hundreds of social services providers to get the message to communities - together we can help all our children be safe, strong and thrive!

Our practice policies

Our Practice Centre website holds all our social work practice information, including policies and resources. It covers:

  • Our Practice Vision
  • Service Pathway - which give an overview of the various areas of our work
  • Our Practice frameworks - a high-level picture of our approach to social work practice
  • Practice policy
  • Supervision and learning - including professional supervision, learning and development, practice sessions and registration

Our people care

Our people are passionate about caring for kids and supporting families. We are the single biggest employer of social workers in the country. 

In addition to more than 1,300 social workers and specialist support staff, we have teams dedicated to supporting our 4,500 caregivers.  We also work with those helping young offenders get their lives back on track.  

Our service is supported by specialist staff; including psychologists, evidential interviewers, and legal advisors specialising in child protection law.

Our structure

We have around 3,000 staff members altogether.  Each one is committed to supporting families and caregivers, and helping children and young people be safe and strong. 

We deliver front-line social work from 58 nationwide sites.  They are grouped into four regions, each led by a regional office.  Our national office is in Wellington.

We have seven residences where children and young people stay if they are at risk in the community.  Four residences are for children and young people who cannot be at home, and need to be cared for and protected. Three residences are for young people who have been placed with us because of their offending. 

We are a service line of the Ministry of Social Development.