About social workers @ Lakes DHB

 Where we are 

Health social workers are serviced based; situated in inpatient, outpatient and community settings. They can be found at the following locations:


Physical health services
Surgical Unit
Orthopaedic Unit
Medical Unit
Older Persons and Rehabiitation Unit
Woman, Child and Family Service (maternal; neonatal and child health)
District Nursing (Community Health)
Taupo Hospital (Generic physical health)


Mental health services
Te Au O Hinetai (Child, adolescent and family community mental health)
Te Ngako (Adult community mental health)
Mental health service for older people

Taupo Mental health Gascoigne St, Taupo



How can we help


Health social workers are specialised professionals and provide services to people using the services of Lakes District Health Board - Rotorua and Taupo. We work collaboratively with the patient, their family/whanau and other multi/inter disciplinary teams and interagency teams.


Health social workers can assist with:

·         Helping individuals, families and whanau in making their own decisions about community based care.

·         Providing information and helping families access resources in the hospital and the community.

·         Providing support and health-related short term counselling.

·         Advocating for and negotiating on behalf of individuals, families and whanau.

·         Helping with planning and discharge (referrals to other agencies in the community is part of this).


Issues that may arise when in hospital:

·         Health, sickness and disability issues

·         Grief/loss

·         Carer stress

·         Coping strategies

·         Family violence

·         Elder Abuse

·         Depression

·         Accommodation

·         Transport

·         Legal issues e.g. Power of Attorney

·         Finances


People have the right to ask for or decline health social work services and also have a right to be treated in accordance with the Health & Disabilities Act. *List all relevant references.


All social workers at Lakes District Health Board are required to have professional membership and competency (www.anzasw.org.nz) and be registered social workers (www.swrb.org.nz) with current annual practising certificates.


Health social workers are also required to undertake regular clinical supervision to ensure their practice is aligned to organisational objectives, professional standards and codes of ethics.



Health Social Work Professional Advisors


Health social workers at Lakes DHB are managed within their service units.  Lakes DHB health social work professional advisors provide clinical oversight and input in the following areas of social work:


·          Strategic planning

·          Alignment of social work to national health strategies

·          Recruitment and credentialing

·          Performance appraisals

·          Professional development

·          Performance management

·          Social work policies and procedures

·          Social work practice standards and processes

·          Lakes DHB and Midland region developments

·          Social work special projects

·          Support and advice to social work staff and their managers


There are two health social work Professional Advisors who share this responsibility within the areas of mental health and physical (general) health.



Contact us




Shelley Kirk, Physical Health



07 349 7955 Ext 8757




If you are dissatisfied with the service provide to you by any of the health social workers at Lakes DHB you may try to resolve the issue/s with the worker concerned or present your complaint to:


·          The Professional Advisors for Social Work , or

·          The Complaints Manager, Ext 7668



Definition of social work


“The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work.”

International federation of social work


What is social work?


Social work is an interrelated system of values, theory and practice. In its various forms it addresses the multiple, complex transactions between people and their environments. Its mission is to enable all people to develop their full potential, enrich their lives, and prevent dysfunction. Professional social work is focused on problem solving and change. As such, social workers are change agents in society and in the lives of individuals, families and communities they serve.



What is social work theory?


Social work bases its methodology on a systematic body of evidence-based knowledge derived from research and practice evaluation, including indigenous knowledge specific to its context.


The social work profession draws on theories of human development and behaviour and social systems to analyse complex situations and to facilitate individual, organisational, social and cultural changes.



What is bicultural social work practice?


Whilst international social work has influenced the development of the profession in Aotearoa New Zealand, unique models of practice have also been developed as social work has matured in the context of a bicultural society. These models take into account the historical context within Aotearoa New Zealand, the evolution of social work, social change, and most importantly the requirements of Te Tiriti O Waitangi, the founding document of the country. Social workers in Aotearoa New Zealand are challenged to identify and express the distinctly indigenous components of social work practice.













21/04/2021 12:19 p.m.
Jackie Wade