Māori social workers’ experiences of care and protection: A selection of findings
Keywords:m?ori social work practice, child protection, family group conferencing, wh?nau ora,
AbstractThis article explores the challenges faced by seven Māori social workers who are also members of Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) working within the child protection system in Aotearoa. Their views on what has improved for Māori whānau around recent legislation changes to family group conferencing (FGC) and newer policy initiatives such as Whānau Ora are examined. The study used a Māori-centred research approach and a thematic analysis of participants’ accounts was undertaken. From this analysis it was found that: (a) the participants walked creatively between two world views in order to best meet the needs of their own people; (b) these Māori practitioners felt over-worked and under-valued; and (c) the participants viewed the practices within FGCs as biased, demonstrating a lack of bicultural ability and contributing to significant barriers that whānau Māori experience in care and protection.
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