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Stories from our staff
Everyday our dedicated staff do an incredible job of working with children, young people and families to make sure they're safe and well supported and have bright futures ahead. A career with Child, Youth and Family is a varied one. Below you can read about our staff, and what it's like day to day in their role, and why they're so passionate about the work they do.
Turning young people's lives around
Dave is a Youth Justice Social Worker. He works with some of Auckland’s most serious teenage offenders as part of an intensive programme attached to the Youth Court.
While it’s rarely plain sailing Dave says it’s great being able to work so closely with the young people and their families throughout the process. “When they stumble there’s support there immediately to help them pick themselves up again,” says Dave.
Read more about Dave’s role as a youth justice social worker
Working with the community to help families
Selena is a Care and Protection social worker with Child, Youth and Family. She completed her studies in social work at Northland Polytechnic and has worked for Child, Youth and Family for six years.
Recently she moved into a unique social work role and now spends most of her time visiting families who could benefit from supports and services rather than a formal investigation. Selena says, “Many of the families notified to Child, Youth and Family just need some guidance or support to get back on track. They don’t actually need Child, Youth and Family in their lives and as an organisation we now have the flexibility to make that call.”
Read more about Selena's role as a differential response coordinator
Realising potential in the young people in our residences
Starting from a passion to help people and make a difference, James embarked on a career in social work. He says he gave working in residences a go to try something different. “It’s very practical and reliant on relational skills, and when I was studying at uni, this was definitely how I visualised the work.”
James says the most rewarding thing about his role is seeing young people build a relationship of trust with an adult. “Trust is a big issue for most of the young people, because most have had bad experiences with adults. It’s really rewarding to see them change and grow up and mature.”
Read more about Jame's role as a case leader at Korowai Manaaki
I've found my dream job
“It ticks all the boxes” comments Derryn on her role as a care and protection social worker. She always knew she wanted to work with young people to make a positive change, but it wasn’t until after gaining a psychology degree and completing a personality test she realised Social Work was her dream job.
“I don’t know why I didn’t consider it earlier. It’s a perfect fit for what I can offer and what a job can offer me!” While working on the frontline she is studying towards a Social Work qualification and ultimately wants to achieve a Masters in Social Work. “There is definitely room to move and progress; it is one of the bonuses of working for such a large organisation.”
Read more about Derryn's role as a care and protection social worker
Families who have strength of character inspire me
Emily felt ‘great enthusiasm and excitement for the challenges and possibilities that Child, Youth and Family offered’ when she was first interviewed nine years ago. Emily had been advised not to go for a role at Child, Youth and Family because it dealt with the tough end of child protection work.
Emily’s enthusiasm and excitement for her work is still evident. She now supervises a team of social workers at her site. She shares “it is an honour to work in such an important role whereby you can be pivotal in enhancing and guiding the future development of children and young people.”
Read more about Emily’s role as a care and protection supervisor
Giving back to her own community
Carenne was so appalled by a story of child abuse she had read in a magazine, she just couldn’t just put it down and move on – she wanted to know what she could do.
Previously a manager of a hairdressing salon, many of Carenne’s clientele were social workers whose offices were located close by. It was here she started enquiring about the role and function of social work.
Read more about Carenne’s role as a differential response coordinator
Social work is challenging at times, but it also has huge rewards
After spending most of her social work career in the health sector, three years ago Megan decided to give Child, Youth and Family a crack. She hasn’t looked back. Megan now supervises a team of care and protection social workers based at Westgate.
“I kept hearing about all the fascinating changes going on and I was eager to be a part of it,” says Megan. “The social workers at Child, Youth and Family are operating in a really positive, strengths-based way with families and they have lot of flexibility when it comes to tapping into supports and services.”
Read more about Megan’s role as a social work supervisor