Finding ‘a safe place to cry’: A review of research and evidence informing social work with refugees and new settlers in Aotearoa New Zealand


  • Jenny Pepworth Social worker at Refugee Services in Palmerston North.
  • Mary Nash Life Member of ANZASW and lecturer at Massey University.



refugees, migrants, settlement, loss, social work practice,


This article presents current and relevant research findings relating to settlement in Aotearoa New Zealand for both refugees and migrants. The article looks at how losses experienced through migration impact on settlement outcomes. Protective and risk factors for new migrants’ adjustment including family and social support networks, language issues, employment opportunities, discrimination and prejudice as well as the size of different migrant communities are all explored. Social policy which aims to achieve social cohesion must adequately address the needs of both newcomers and host society members. Social workers need to be aware of the settlement issues faced by their clients at the micro, meso and macro levels in order to competently and ethically meet their clients’ needs in this field of practice. The article provides evidence based on research for practice.


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How to Cite

Pepworth, J., & Nash, M. (2017). Finding ‘a safe place to cry’: A review of research and evidence informing social work with refugees and new settlers in Aotearoa New Zealand. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 21(1), 48–59.