The role of contextual knowledge through the eyes of a resettlement social worker
It is commonly known that social workers are required to possess wide-ranging knowledge. Furthermore, a multi-dimensional approach to social work knowledge is required to help social workers make decisions in their practice. Thus, for many social workers, it is almost impossible to emphasise only one dimension of knowledge over others. One area of social work that is of particular interest is resettlement for former refugees. The knowledge required for social workers practising in refugee resettlement must include contextual knowledge of both local and global contexts. This article is a reflection from a resettlement social worker, who shares her own practice journey in working with former refugees in Aotearoa New Zealand. As part of this reflection, the social worker shares her experience in utilising different types of knowledge to inform decision-making processes in her practice. She hopes this article can encourage further reflections in our social work practice with former refugees to become more culturally sensitive, effective and contextual to each social work scenario.
Cha, T., Kuo, E., & Marsh, J. (2006). Useful knowledge for social work practice. Social Work and Society International Online Journal, 4(1), 111–122.
Fitzgerald, H. (2017). Ngā wāhine kaha from Syria: The experience of former refugee women from Syria resettling in Aotearoa New Zealand
[Master’s thesis]. Victoria University of Wellington). https://researcharchive.vuw.ac.nz/xmlui/handle/10063/6874
Forster, M. (2015). Refining the definition of information literacy: The experience of contextual knowledge creation. Journal of Information Literacy, 9(1), 62–73.
Hay, K. (2019). Social work and disasters. In R. Munford & K. O’Donoghue, New theories for social work practice: Ethical practice for working with individuals, families and communities (pp. 173–191). Jessica Kingsley.
Hyslop, I. (2013). Social work practice knowedge: An enquiry into the nature of the knowledge generated and applied in the practice of social work [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Massey University. https://mro.massey.ac.nz/handle/10179/5139.
Imre, R. W. (1984). The nature of knowledge in social work. National Association of Social Workers, 41–45.
Kamri-McGurk, U. (2012). Resettlement experiences of Burmese women from refugee backgrounds in Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand [Master’s thesis]. Victoria University of Wellington. http://researcharchive. vuw.ac.nz/handle/10063/2588
Kim, H. (2014). The experiences of Korean immigrants settling in New Zealand: A process of regaining control [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. Auckland University of Technology. http://orapp.aut.ac.nz/handle/10292/8631
Marlowe, J. (2019). Social work with resettled refugees. In R. Munford, & K. O’Donoghue, New theories for social work practice: Ethical practice for working with individual, families and communities (pp. 63–80). Jessica Kingsley.
Munford, R., & O’Donoghue, K. (2019). New theories for social work practice: Ethical practice for working with individuals, families and communities. Jessica Kingsley.
Nash, M. (2005). Responding to resettlement needs: Migrants and refugees and community development. In M. Nash, R. Munford, & K. O’Donoghue, Social work theories in action (pp. 140–154). Jessica Kingsley.
O’Donoghue, K. (2003). Restorying social work supervision. Dunmore Press.
Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. (2020). Your human rights. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/ Pages/WhatareHumanRights.aspx
Payne, C. (2007). “Sometimes we are everything and nothing in the same breath”: Beginning social work practitioners’ constructions of professional identity [Master’s thesis]. Massey University. https://mro.massey.ac.nz/ handle/10179/4976
Social Workers Registration Board. (2020). Core competence standards. https://swrb.govt.nz/social-workers/ competence/core-competence-standards/
Stanfield, D. (2021). Spinning the social work web: A commentary. Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, 22(2), 6–8.
How to Cite
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
By completing the online submission process, you confirm you accept this agreement. The following is the entire agreement between you and the Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) and it may be modified only in writing.
You and any co-authors
If you are completing this agreement on behalf of co-authors, you confirm that you are acting on their behalf with their knowledge.
By submitting the work you are:
- granting the ANZASW the right of first publication of this work;
- confirming that the work is original; and
- confirming that the work has not been published in any other form.
Once published, you are free to use the final, accepted version in any way, as outlined below under Copyright.
You assign copyright in the final, accepted version of your article to the ANZASW. You and any co-authors of the article retain the right to be identified as authors of the work.
The ANZASW will publish the final, accepted manuscript under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY 4.0). This licence allows anyone – including you – to share, copy, distribute, transmit, adapt and make commercial use of the work without needing additional permission, provided appropriate attribution is made to the original author or source.
A human-readable summary of the licence is available from http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, which includes a link to the full licence text.
Under this licence you can use the final, published version of the article freely – such as depositing a copy in your institutional research repository, uploading a copy to your profile on an academic networking site or including it in a different publication, such as a collection of articles on a topic or in conference proceedings – provided that original publication in Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work is acknowledged.
This agreement has no effect on any pre-publication versions or elements, which remain entirely yours, and to which we claim no right.
Reviewers hold copyright in their own comments and should not be further copied in any way without their permission.
The copyright of others
If your article includes the copyright material of others (e.g. graphs, diagrams etc.), you confirm that your use either:
- falls within the limits of fair dealing for the purposes of criticism and review or fair use; OR
- that you have gained permission from the rights holder for publication in an open access journal.