Social Worker Kaimahi Toko i te Ora

Social workers provide care, advice and support to people with personal or social problems, and help with community and social issues.

Social workers may do some or all of the following:

  • support people in crisis, talk to them about their problems, and help them make decisions
  • help people to access benefits and accommodation
  • advise people on their rights and ways to improve their lives
  • write reports and case notes
  • advise policy-makers about solutions to social problems
  • work with communities to help build on their strengths.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for social workers includes:

  • welfare agency work
  • youth or community work
  • nursing work
  • teaching work
  • work with families, children or people with disabilities
  • counselling and support work, or other work that involves helping people
  • work within an iwi or Māori social service
  • work with people from various cultures.

Personal Qualities

Social workers need to be:

  • excellent communicators who can relate to people of all ages and cultures
  • good decision makers, with excellent problem-solving skills
  • understanding, empathetic, patient and honest
  • reliable, adaptable and able to cope with stressful situations
  • able to keep information private and work within a code of ethics
  • well organised, with good planning skills.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for social workers includes:

  • welfare agency work
  • youth or community work
  • nursing work
  • teaching work
  • work with families, children or people with disabilities
  • counselling and support work, or other work that involves helping people
  • work within an iwi or Māori social service
  • work with people from various cultures.

Subject Recommendations

A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include English, health education, social studies and te reo Māori.

Social Workers can earn around $47K-$79K per year per year.

Experienced social workers may move into management roles. They may also move into other areas, such as:

  • policy-making
  • research
  • teaching.

Social workers may specialise in working with certain groups, such as:

  • children, young people, and their families
  • older people
  • Māori communities.

Social workers may also specialise in certain areas, such as:

  • mental health
  • drug or alcohol addiction
  • disability
  • violence prevention
  • community development.
Social Worker