“Pasifika families aren’t accessing specialist services as much because those services require a really one-eyed view of the child”
How social workers engage Pasifika children with disability and their families
Keywords:Pasifika, children with disabilities, decolonisation, indigenisation, anti-racist practice
INTRODUCTION: Accessing disability services in Aotearoa New Zealand is not a simple process. Pasifika families experiencing disability underutilise disability services. This research explores how social workers work successfully with Pasifika families of children with disabilities in Aotearoa New Zealand, a traditionally western-practice-dominated country. It specifically explores how practice is adapted and which frameworks are deemed successful in this field.
METHOD: This qualitative research uses semi-structured interviews with four social workers working with Pasifika families of children with disability. Interviews were thematically analysed.
FINDINGS: Using an anti-oppressive framework for analysis, this study found it is important for social workers to understand the differences when working with Pasifika families of children with disabilities, this includes: knowledge of Pasifika values, Pasifika social work practice frameworks, relationships, cultural humility and meeting families where they are at. This understanding is necessary for successful social work with Pasifika families of children with disability.
IMPLICATIONS: Anti-oppressive practice addressing structural, cultural and personal oppression is crucial for successful social work with Pasifika families of children with disability. Using an anti-oppressive practice approach, which incorporates the intentional inclusion of decolonisation, indigenisation and anti-racist practice provides a conceptual framework for working successfully with Pasifika families of children with disability.
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