The role of contextual knowledge through the eyes of a resettlement social worker

Hawa Fitzgerald


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.

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