Tēnā koutou katoa,
Greetings from Re-Imagining Social Work (RSW) a collective of social workers, social work academics, researchers and others who share a passion for, and a commitment to the development of modern, progressive, inclusive, democratic, and culturally responsive social work services in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Our collective was formed in response to the New Zealand Government’s announcement, in April 2015, of plans to review and ‘modernise’ Child, Youth and Family (the government operated child protection agency). The review is to be led by an ‘independent’ panel of ‘experts’. Experts who do not include a single child protection practitioner, manager, academic or family violence researcher . In our view the CYF review is not about the development of creative and innovative plans to support and reform a struggling public service. It is about the continuing roll out of the National Government’s ‘investment approach’ to marketise and privatise health and social services. The terms of reference of the review include no plans to consult the New Zealand public or any of the many agencies and individuals with a stake in effective child protection services.
We launched the website Re-imagining Social Work in order to create a space to discuss, debate and deliberate on the CYF review and other social welfare reforms impacting on children, families and all New Zealand citizens. We consider that these changes are likely to have far-reaching and deleterious effects on the future of all social work services in Aotearoa New Zealand.
We are a small group of individuals and have no illusions about the scale of the task ahead. We want to work in solidarity with the ANZASW, TWSWA, PSA/SWAN, NUPE, CSWEANZ and all other progressive bodies who share our concerns. We invite you to let your members know of our existence and to let us know how we can work in partnership with your organisation to challenge the CYF review and promote progressive social welfare reforms in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Ngā mihi nui.
The RSW Collective
- Neil Ballantyne, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.
- Liz Beddoe, Associate Professor in SocialWork, University of Auckland.
- Ian Hyslop, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Auckland.
- Emily Keddell, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Otago.
- Simon Lowe, Senior Tutor in Social Work, University of Waikato.
- Deb Stanfield, Social Work Academic, Wintec.