Thinking beyond the contract: A journey to collaborative community social work


  • Stefanie Döbl Newtown Union Health Service
  • Amy Ross St Vincent de Paul in Newtown, Wellington.



community social work, ngo, contract culture


Social workers from two different Wellington-based community service providers, Newtown Union Health Service (NUHS) and St Vincent de Paul (SVDP) Wellington Area discuss their organisations and how they worked together to build an award-winning1 practice model in their community. Their reflection on their work raises important questions regarding our responsibilities and options to meet client needs in a heavily contracted funding environment and presents the learnings and challenges of their collaboration.

Author Biographies

Stefanie Döbl, Newtown Union Health Service

Stefanie Döbl is a registered social worker based at Newtown Union Health Service, a primary health care practicein Wellington. Having practised social work both in Aotearoa New Zealand and overseas for 10 years, she feels honoured in having the opportunity to work closely with people from Wellington’s diverse communities. Stefanie is also currently studying towards a Master of Health Sciences

Amy Ross, St Vincent de Paul in Newtown, Wellington.

Amy Ross is a community social worker working for St Vincent de Paul in Newtown, Wellington. With bachelor and masters degrees in social work from Massey University Amy has 14 years’experience in the NGO sector. Passionate about social work and social workers Amy is an outspoken advocate of social justice and the connection that social work can and should have to challenging injustice in whatever guise it may appear


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How to Cite

Döbl, S., & Ross, A. (2016). Thinking beyond the contract: A journey to collaborative community social work. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 25(1), 43–53.