Social Worker
Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
4d ago

Pay for social workers depends on their experience, the type of work they do and their employer.

Child, Youth and Family (CYF) and district health boards (DHBs) employ over half of all social workers.

Pay for social workers at CYF varies.

  • Qualified social workers start on $44,381 a year, and can progress to $65,200 a year.
  • Those with extra responsibilities can earn between $59,200 and $74800 a year.
  • Practice leaders can earn between $73,600 and $99, 600 a year.
  • Pay for social workers at district health boards also varies.

  • Social workers employed by DHBs start on $48,000 a year and progress to $66,000 a year.
  • Senior social workers at DHBs with extra responsibilities can earn between $69,000 and $100,000 a year.
  • Sources : Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers, 2016; District Health Board / Public Sector Association, 'Allied, Public Health & Technical Multi-

    Employer Collective Agreement, 2015 to 2017', 2015; and Ministry of Social Development, 'Child, Youth and Family Collective Agreement, 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2015', 2012.

    This information is a guide only. )

    What you will do

    Social workers may do some or all of the following :

  • support people in crisis, talk with them about their problems, and help them make decisions
  • help people with support such as benefits and accommodation
  • advise people on their rights and opportunities
  • write reports and case notes
  • give advice on social problems
  • work with communities to help build on their strengths
  • use the law to ensure that people are held accountable for their offences.
  • Skills and knowledge

    Social workers need to have :

  • knowledge of social work practice and theories
  • an understanding of social and cultural issues and problems
  • knowledge of human behaviour, development, relationships and social systems
  • counselling and negotiating skills
  • knowledge of social policy and how it is developed
  • an understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • For those who specialise in working with Māori communities, knowledge of Māori language and culture is essential.

    Social workers :

  • may work full or part time. They may work long hours, and are sometimes required to be on call or do shift work
  • work in schools, hospitals, homes, marae, government agencies and in the community. They may also work in residential centres and courts
  • may work in stressful conditions, dealing with challenging and highly distressed clients
  • may travel locally to visit people in their homes.
  • Entry requirements

    To become a registered social worker, you need to meet the Social Workers Registration Board requirements. This includes demonstrating that you are a "fit and proper person" to be a social worker and that you hold a recognised qualification such as :

  • Bachelor of Social Work or Applied Social Work
  • Ngā Poutoko Whakarara Oranga - Bachelor of Bicultural Social Work
  • Poutuārongo Toiora Whānau
  • an approved two year Master's degree.
  • The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 means that if you have certain serious convictions, you can’t be employed in a role where you are responsible for, or work alone with, children.

    Secondary education

    A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training.

    Personal requirements

    Social workers need to be :

  • excellent communicators who can relate to people of all ages and cultures
  • good decision-makers, with excellent problem-solving skills
  • understanding, empathetic, patient and honest
  • reliable, adaptable and able to cope with stressful situations
  • able to keep information private and work within a code of ethics
  • well organised, with good planning skills.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for social workers includes :

  • welfare agency work
  • youth or community work
  • teaching work
  • work with families, children or people with disabilities
  • counselling and support work, or other work that involves helping people
  • work within an iwi / Māori social service
  • work with people from various cultures.
  • Registration

    To become a registered social worker, you need to meet the Social Workers Registration Board requirements.

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