1 May 2018: The Government announced in January 2018 that the Better Public Services programme would not continue in this form. These pages have been archived.
Social Workers in Schools (SWiS) is a school-based community social work service, that places a social worker right in the school grounds, bringing together a child or young person's home and school life. Services were rolled out in schools across the greater Auckland area and the South Island during term one 2013, and the final stage of the expansion is well under way, completing coverage nation-wide. Once this final stage is complete, an additional 149 new social workers in schools will be in place.
SWiS worker Viv Lyster, works in four Wairarapa schools. She's been doing this for five years; loves her work and loves being able to support children, teachers and families.
"You don't realise how big an impact you can make on kids' and families' lives," said Viv Lyster
"Viv brings an element of realness, she brings parents and the school together and it's very important that she can do home visits. She goes to their place. Viv is also able to tap into other agencies when needed and that's been really helpful," said Margie Sutherland, Principal of South Featherston School.
"Viv works alongside the parents and has a relationship with home...She creates relationships with parents that's hard for us to do because often we are seen as the 'authority' which goes back to the parents' own experience of school," said Dick Brown, Principal of Douglas Park School.