Social work at Whakatipuria Teen Parent Unit


  • Michael Dale Massey University



social work services, whakatipuria teen parent unit, social work practice, practice models,


A formative evaluation of social work services at Whakatipuria Teen Parent Unit (TPU) was undertaken to improve the delivery of social work support services in order to maintain and enhance the achievement of student outcomes. The views of participants were sought regarding the nature and purpose of social work support in the TPU context, and how this support could be improved. The findings presented are consistent with research that demonstrates that teen mothers respond positively to wrap-around support at their high school. Two substantive conclusions are drawn from the research. First, that a relatively high degree of consensus exists among key stakeholders regarding: (a) the purpose of social work services (i.e. that they contribute to educational achievement, social skills development and outcomes for children); and (b) the range of tasks associated with this service (i.e. advocacy, counselling and family intervention/support). Second, there was less clarity regarding the social work practice framework that informs the delivery of social work services. While there was evidence of core social work practice approaches/models (e.g. a holistic approach and strengths-based practice), a strong, shared understanding did not emerge from the responses of participants. It is suggested that a review of the foundational social work practice framework be completed with a focus on models of assessment and intervention, and joint planning protocols between the social worker and teachers.


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How to Cite

Dale, M. (2016). Social work at Whakatipuria Teen Parent Unit. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 25(1), 3–13.