More social workers for Child, Youth and FamilySocial Development
More than 80 new social work staff for Child, Youth and Family will soon be recruited to help alleviate pressure on frontline staff.
Social Development Minister, Paula Bennett has welcomed the decision in response to the recently released Workload and Casework Review.
“Social workers do one of the toughest jobs there is, and I commend the Ministry of Social Development for carrying out this review in the first place. Increasing staff numbers isn’t the only answer, but it’s a significant start,” says Mrs Bennett.
The Ministry of Social Development has allocated funding of $5.9 million for an additional 47 care and protection social worker positions, 12 supervisor social worker positions and 26 social worker resource assistants. This will increase Child, Youth and Family frontline numbers by 5 per cent to nearly 1,400 staff.
The newly appointed social workers will be placed across the country in sites with the highest workloads and caseloads.
The new positions mean the Ministry can immediately meet some of the key recommendations of the review, which also include reducing caseloads that are unreasonably high, and ensuring social workers’ administrative tasks are reduced to help them spend more time with children and their families.
Minister Bennett says alleviating pressure on frontline staff will ultimately benefit New Zealand’s most vulnerable children.
“The new social workers come at the same time as we are increasing the number of Children’s Teams across the country, which will target and work with children and families before they reach Child, Youth and Family’s threshold.
“Today’s announcement recognises just how vital social workers are in the care and support of abused children and the foster families working tirelessly to improve their lives,” says Mrs Bennett.